As may you know, in January 2017 YALSA transitioned the selected lists, Amazing Audiobooks and Quick Picks, to The Hub. The general goals of this transition were to provide these lists in a more timely, user-friendly way, provide increased opportunities for virtual member and teen involvement, and better address the needs of diverse teens.  You can read the complete rationale in this Midwinter 2017 Board Document.

In early 2017, YALSA members applied for and were selected to serve on an AA Team and a QP team to:

  • Find & read titles (publishers are still providing titles & members are still suggesting titles!)
  • Meet virtually to discuss and nominate titles
  • Write blog posts about the nominated titles
  • Review nominations and vote to create the Best of Lists at the end of the year (the 2018 lists are coming soon!)

Using the processes described in the Amazing Audiobooks Policies & Procedures and the Quick Picks Policies & Procedures the blogging teams have been busy at work! Currently they are choosing the titles that will be included on the year’s Best of AA List and Best of QP List. Stay tuned to the Hub for the announcement!

During the year, when the blogging teams nominated a title for the AA or QP lists, a short description of the title was posted to the Hub using the hashtags #QP2018 and #AA2018. By using these hashtags to search the Hub, library staff have been able to read about the books as they are being nominated, rather than having to wait until the final Best of Lists are compiled and published. This change has allowed library staff to learn about and purchase nominated titles throughout the year, thus putting QP and AA titles in the hands of teens who need them more quickly. It has also allowed library staff to learn about all the titles that are nominated (many of which may be perfect for their teens but may not make it to the Best of Lists), not just the ones that will eventually be selected for the Best of Lists.  Titles that make the final cut will also be added to the Teen Bookfinder Database and app.

In September I organized a call with the Hub Member Manager, QP and AA Blogging Team Coordinators and staff to talk about how the transition was progressing.  During this discussion we learned that due to a miscommunication nominees weren’t being posted regularly, and both teams had a backlog of nominees to go online.  We addressed this and some other issues, and have learned from this year’s first attempt so that next year will progress smoothly.

Beginning in January 2018, Best Fiction for Young Adults and Great Graphic Novels will be transitioned to the Hub, too. The volunteer form was open from Aug. through Sept. for YALSA members to volunteer to serve on the QP, AA, BFYA, and GGN Blogging Teams. Stephen Ashley, the Hub Member Manager, is currently working to select the Blogging Teams and orient them to the process. As the teams nominate titles for AA, QP, and BFYA and GGN lists, short descriptions will be posted to the Hub using the hashtags #BFYA2019, #GGN2019, #QP2019, and #AA2019 to facilitate ease of access.

YALSA staff and I continue to work with Stephen, the Hub advisory Board, and our members to ensure that the transition to the Hub of the YALSA selected lists continues, and to work out any challenges that arise.  Per a Board directive, I will also assemble a group of members in January 2018 to formally evaluate how the first transition year went and to submit recommendations for the Board to review and act on.  We are confident that working together the changes to the selected lists are benefiting teens, our members, and libraries!  I’d like to extend a big thank you to Molly Wetta, Stephen Ashley, the Hub Advisory Board and the AA & QP Blogging Teams for all of their hard work this year to make the transition as smooth as possible.  I’d also like to thank our members for their patience as we worked through these changes.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Sandra Hughes-Hassell, 2017-2018 YALSA President

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