BBYA Proposal and SLJ

Earlier today, School Library Journal reported that YALSA would stop publishing the annual Best Book for Young Adults Booklist (“ALA Conference 2009: Best Books for Young Adults List to Get the Axe” by Rocco Staino). As a member of the YALSA Board of Directors, I would like to clarify that no decision has been made with regards to the future of the BBYA Booklist as of this posting.

Yes, there is a proposal before the YALSA Board of Directors that would result in the sunsetting of BBYA. However, it is just that: a proposal; a proposal which requires a majority of the board to approve it. And given that the board hasn’t met yet, much less discussed or voted on BBYA, it is presumptuous of SLJ to post such a misleading article.

The School Library Journal article further suggested that the proposed Reader’s Choice list serve as BBYA’s replacement. Neither proposal has yet to be discussed or decided, so again – presumptuous of anyone to write such a thing as if it were fact.

Is there a proposal that would call for the end of BBYA? Yes; it proposes a sunsetting of the list in 2011. There is also a proposal for a Readers’ Choice booklist. But if you read those proposals in full, you’ll see that neither one mentions the other. The BBYA proposal does not call for the Readers’ Choice proposal to replace it; the Reader’s Choice proposal does not mention BBYA or any of YALSA’s booklists by name. They are two separate proposals, and they are just that – proposals. Both will be discussed, debated and voted on by the YALSA Board this conference – and none have had a final decision.

If you are a YALSA member concerned by this issue, I recommend you start by reading through both proposals on the YALSA members’ only site (You’ll need your ALA login and password). YALSA members are welcome to leave their input online at the YALSA wiki, by talking to a YALSA board member at any point at conference, or by attending the meeting, which is slated for 11 a.m. on Monday.

More than anything, I encourage you to refrain from jumping to conclusions and sticking to the facts, which are noted in the board documents.

I read the board documents. Right now the information in those documents is what I have to consider, and I will wait until the discussion on Monday to make a decision that I believe is in the best interest of our professional association.

Michele Gorman

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  1. Angela Frederick

    Thanks for posting this. I have read both proposals online, and I do hope the board will decide to keep BBYA.

    I also like the idea of the Reader’s Choice too.

    Angela Frederick
    YALSA Member

  2. I’m excited about the propsed changes. It’s difficult to predict how the changes will play out, but I’m inclined to think optimistically. As a selection or readers’ advisory tool, I’d use Quick Picks before BBYA. But to have solid books in specific genres? That’d be awesome. I also really love the idea of allowing votes from the membership. Good books are good books, and word of mouth in our YALSA community travels fast. I’ve seen this countless times not just with the big names but with lesser-known authors too.

  3. I don’t really understand this blog post. The title of the SLJ article that this post is referring to is, “ALA Conference 2009: Will Best Books for Young Adults List Get the Axe?” ( Was that revamped since this blog post? I didn’t read the SLJ article at all as saying the the decision to stop BBYA was already made as it in fact referred to when the discussion about the proposal on the table was going to take place. Perhaps this post would’ve been better on the SLJ site itself (or in addition) as the author of the article has comments enabled.

  4. The SLJ story was revised after this post appeared on the YALSA blog.

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