Welcome, YASD!

senior prom fakeMarcy Rhodes has three possible sweet squeezes: Steve, who drops out of the running when he goes off to college; Rick, a nice, dependable kind of guy, and Bruce, a looker with a yellow convertible. When Senior Prom approaches, Marcy has to go with someone, so like many heroines in chick lit, she picks the guy with the convertible. During prom, however, Marcy realizes that Bruce intends to stay out all night. Marcy panics, since this was not her plan at all. Fortunately, nice guy Rick gives Marcy a ride home. The next day she learns that Bruce totaled that yellow convertible in after-prom hijinks.

It sounds like the plot of a Meg Cabot novel, but Senior Prom, written by Rosamond Du Jardin, was published in 1957. Du Jardin was the author of seventeen young adult books, including four books in the Marcy Rhodes senior promseries. Young Adult Literature, although far from the market giant it is today, was robust in the years following World War II. Such was the cultural backdrop when the American Library Association created the Young Adult Services Division (YASD) in June, 1957. Mildred Batchelder served as the first Executive Secretary. The early years included scuffles with other ALA divisions and a fight to keep the TOP OF THE NEWS journal focused on Youth Services.

Want to know what happens next? You can find more about the history of YALSA in the YALSA Handbook in the History section.’  The YALSA Handbook is a nifty document that not only chronicles the backstory of our vibrant ALA Division, but contains all kinds of information about today’s YALSA as well.

One thought on “Welcome, YASD!”

  1. Great post, Diane! It’s good to look back at where we came from as we’re looking ahead to where we’re going.

    I was lucky enough to learn my love of YA literature from Mary Woodworth (who used to tell my children she knew “stories” about their father from when she was his high school librarian). I learned about creating solid, systemwide collections from Eleanor Pourron, and Pat Muller hooked me up with my first teen reading group. I hope that I’m carrying on their legacy in some small way.

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