I thought it might be interesting to take a look at where the Cybils judges are from. There are 107 judges total (including one set of co-judges), and nine panel organizers (some of whom are serving double-duty as judges as well) for a total of 116 individuals.
After checking out their blogs and twitter accounts, I was able to find out where all but 10 of them are located. Four of them are outside of the U.S., two of them in Canada. Out of the 10 judges that didn't reveal their location, three gave vague, broad areas such as "North America" or "New England." I was a little surprised to see that the competition is so American-centric. The award is for any book in English in each category, which falls within the scope of the judging year. I had anticipated seeing kidlit bloggers from Great Britain, Europe, Australia... all over the globe really; but with only a few exceptions, most of the judges appear to be American. Maybe that will change in years to come.
As can be expected, we see the most judges in denser urban areas and populous states. New York and California are at the top of the heap, with 11 and 12 judges respectively. They are closely followed by seven in Texas. The Washington, D.C. metro area is also rather healthy in Cybils judges, with 12 total spread out over the surrounding suburbs in neighboring states of Virginia and Maryland.
Next, let's look at states who nabbed 3-5 spots on the Cybils judging panels. They are: Florida, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Utah and Massachusetts.
Plenty of states had only one or two judges. The states with two judges a piece are: Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan and Washington state. The states with only a lone representative on the Cybils award panels are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
What really surprised me the most was to see how many states had no one on the Cybils panels at all. With over a hundred judges, and with some states grabbing a lot of spots, I knew that not every state would be represented. Is there just a dearth of bloggers in these areas? Is it that they're sparsely populated or don't have as much access to technology? Or were they simply unlucky? Unless a few of our judges with undisclosed locations are hidden away there, the
18 17 states with no Cybils judges this year are: Hawaii, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, West Virginia, Delaware, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Wherever they're from, I'm sure the Round I stars are busy reading, re-reading, requesting, note-taking and otherwise preparing to whittle down their tremendous lists of nominees. There are still five more days to nominate one of your favorites! Polls close on October 15th. If you can think of a book that hasn't been nominated yet, but you think deserves a look, skedaddle over to the Cybils website and make your suggestions now!