The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children's book published the previous year. The Newbery Award thus became the first children's book award in the world. Its terms, as well as its long history, continue to make it the best known and most discussed children's book award in this country. From the beginning of the awarding of the Newbery Medals, committees could, and usually did, cite other books as worthy of attention. Such books were referred to as Newbery "runners-up." In 1971 the term "runners-up" was changed to "honor books."