Some of YALSA’s Selected Lists are Changing: Here’s the Scoop

As part of the August 2016 board document “Recommendations for Transforming Remaining Work Groups,” a Selected List Transition taskforce was created to offer recommendations for transitioning selected lists to The Hub in two phases: the first to take place in 2017 with Amazing Audiobooks (AA), Popular Paperbacks (PP) and Quick Picks (QP). Throughout the fall of 2016, the task force worked virtually to create a draft plan, shared the draft plan with members and gathered feedback during an online member chat in Nov., and then reworked the plan based on that feedback. The plan was then submitted back to the Leading the Transformation of Teen Services Board Standing Committee to ensure alignment with YALSA mission and Organizational Plan, and that the plan addressed the stated goals of the project:

  • Provide more timely information
  • Share information in an easier to use format
  • Create new resources to meet the needs of today’s diverse teens
  • Ensure the flexibility to embrace new formats as they emerge
  • Include new and diverse voices in the process
  • Create new resources for library staff beyond traditional collection development and readers’ advisory tools

At the recent YALSA board meetings in Atlanta, a board document was approved with modifications.  Check out this document that outlines the transition of Phase 1. However, keep in mind that the Board added a modification–Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (PPYA) will also have a “Best of” list.

So what’s new is that instead of standing committees, the lists will be developed by YALSA members through the Hub.  This allows for virtual participation as well as for sharing information in a more timely way.  Between now and Feb. 12, YALSA is collecting volunteer forms for individuals who would like to work throughout 2017 to develop the next Amazing Audio and Quick Picks lists.  10- 15 members will be selected to work on each list, and as part of their work, they’ll be writing blog posts about the books they nominate. Now don’t panic!  We all write, but we may not all be Dessen or Tolkien.  If you have served on a selection committee in the past, you know that part of the process is writing about why you are nominating a title. And I know you can write to express yourself in email.  As you’ll see in the Board Document #29,  the Hub manager, Molly Wetta,  is creating a process that will help reviewers become better bloggers and, in the long run, better writers.  These are tools that bloggers can use in their everyday jobs, whether you’re writing a press release for a program or writing a proposal for more funding for your collection.

Another addition is getting teens involved in the process.  When I worked on PPYA, I would often ask my teens which books they liked, especially if it were a genre that I wasn’t familiar with.  This was always a great way to engage my teens and I would take back their comments and reactions back to the committee.  Now those same teens will be able to work with us to become guest bloggers for the list.  There are other exciting changes, as well, which are outlined in the document, so I encourage everyone to read it carefully.

The Board realizes that there are challenges that might come up, but this is still a very evolving process.  As we move forward, the Board will evaluate how everything is working.  With feedback from the chairs, list coordinators, and the YALSA members working on the lists, improvements will be made to the process while increasing opportunities for librarians in regions of the country who haven’t been able to participate.  The virtual experience is making it easier for YALSA members to get involved.  And like everything new, there might be challenges, but with board members, YALSA staff, and members working together, the plan will succeed!

Franklin Escobedo

YALSA Board of Directors

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