Some of you may have noticed back in late January that you did not need to log into the site to view YALSA’s Awards and Selected Lists (that is, if you were not already been using the links provided by YALSA which you could bookmark and use to bypass the log-in). We did this because we knew that the ALA/YALSA website gets unusually large amounts of traffic just after the awards and lists are announced at the Midwinter Meeting, and based on information from ALA, we were concerned that the site couldn’t handle the number of log-in requests.
YALSA had originally instituted the website login for one year to:
1. Work towards fulfilling one of the goals of our Strategic Plan, Member Recruitment, by reaching out to perusers of our Awards and Selected Lists.
2. Find out more about list and award viewers in order to learn how to better connect with those interested in that type of content.
3. Tap the fanbase (which extends way, way beyond our membership) of our Selected Lists and Awards to help them step up as advocates for the entire association and the teens we serve in libraries everyday.
Despite tweaks and improvements to the website, we know that it wasn’t easy for many users to access the awards and lists portion of site, via login, in a seamless manner.
Throughout the Spring, the YALSA Executive Committee and Board evaluated the one year project, including the capacity of the ALA/YALSA website to deliver a seamless log-in process and the success of using an email form for non-member access. The Board found that:
44,024 emails were collected via the form during the one year period
access to www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists increased significantly from 2011, when there was no log-in/form to 2012 when there was:
2011: 39,217 total page views
2012: 355,837 total page views
While YALSA was able to meet its goal of expanding its connections to list viewers, because of the technical issues related to accessing the lists, the Board decided to leave the log-in to the lists and awards disabled. This was based primarily on feedback from users regarding technical issues with accessing the pages and the limitations of the site’s management system to fully address them.
In a related issue, members who participated in the fall 2012 Members’ Survey indicated that they would like more perks for their membership, and YALSA’s Board is now looking at ways to create more benefits for members, including, but not limited to the possibility of expanded members-only content on the web site. Over the next few months, YALSA’s Board will be exploring best practices in regards to creating and delivering member benefits and will keep members and non-members apprised of what’s in the works.
The Board and I greatly appreciate the feedback many of you shared via email, the Member Survey, the quarterly Town Halls, etc. and we hope that you’ll continue to keep us informed about the kinds of member benefits, resources, etc. you are looking to YALSA to provide. If you are attending the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, please plan on attending the YALSA Membership Meeting and President’s Program from 1:00 to 3:00 PM in room N227B of the convention center. The first part of the event will be an open session where members can share their ideas, questions and comments with the Board. If you’re not attending, you’re welcome to contact me by email or Twitter and share your thoughts that way. Thanks for all that you do to make libraries awesome for teens! It has been an honor and a pleasure to represent such an amazing group of people this past year!