YALSA Virtual Town Hall Today


If you’ve ever used YALSA’s Amazing Audio, Best Fiction, Graphic Novels,  or Quick Picks lists for recommendations or collection development, or are thinking about volunteering for a YALSA committee in the future, I highly encourage you to tune in to the YALSA Virtual Town Hall today from 3-4 pm Eastern Standard Time. To participate, join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android via this link: https://zoom.us/j/862970792. You can also join via phone by dialing 408.638.0968. The Meeting ID is 862 970 792.

During the ALA Annual Meeting at Orlando and continuing during the board meeting in August, the YALSA Board took steps to reorganize strategic committees going forward in order to give YALSA membership “more opportunities for volunteering and engagement.” Per President Sarah Hill’s blog post on August 2:

The first change is that the transition will be broken down in phases, with the first phase beginning in 2017 with Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults, Popular Paperbacks, and Quick Picks for Young Adults. The second change was to specify the types of representatives who should be a part of the work group that will be assembled to create a transition plan between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1, and submit it to the board for approval no later than Dec. 1, 2016. The board document was a proposal that did not seek to flesh out all of the details and logistics–the work group will be the one to do just that.  The work group will consist of representation from selection committees, the Hub, the Organizations & Bylaws committee, the board, and YALSA staff.  The work group, which I will appoint, will use the feedback shared by members and the general proposal from the board to create a transition plan that retains the collection development and readers’ advisory aspects of the lists, while improving the timeliness and relevancy of them, as well as expanding opportunities for member participation.

For those who are curious, the recommendations that the Board has agreed to, with the changes above, are here. The section concerning the selection lists states:

Selection Committees: Amazing Audiobooks Committee, Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee, Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee, Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Readers Committee (Popular Paperbacks was already addressed in Board Document #40 at the Annual Conference)

Possible Recommendations:

1. For each selection committee, transition to The Hub beginning Feb. 1, 2017, where materials will be reviewed and discussed monthly by member bloggers. All posts on The Hub will be tagged, categorized, and branded to make for easy discovery by anyone interested in the content. Hub bloggers will post a monthly roundup of titles posted during past four weeks that are tagged and categorized as audiobook, best fiction, graphic novel, quick pick, etc. Each fall a virtual member group will be assembled and assigned to a two month project where they will select the top titles from those that have been written about during the year. This group will post their “Best of the Best” list in early December, which will be available on the Hub. YALSA staff and The Hub Member Manager will develop a transition plan by no later than Dec. 1, 2016 that will include, but not be limited to, considering such key issues as:

  • Ways in which YALSA members can participate fully in discussion and development of lists both virtually and in-person at conferences, meetings, and perhaps local, state, regional events.
  • Ways in which teens can participate in the discussion and development of lists virtually but also at local, regional and national events facilitated by YALSA members.
  • Ensuring a diversity of voices represented in The Hub activities.
  • Building the scope and capacity of The Hub so that 1) a wide variety of members can participate in the development of reviews and lists, 2) the Hub will include a searchable database of current and past selected and best of the best lists.
  • Including a plan for the YALSA Board to evaluate this structure after one year using indicators devised once the transition to the new format is in place. • Including recommendations for promoting and marketing The Hub and its expanded scope
  • Providing recommendations for communicating the changes to the membership and engaging them in the transition work, including recommendations for any selection committee members whose term is not set to end until January 31, 2018
  • Discuss recommendations for informing and engaging the publishing community around the transition and on The Hub
  • Other: additional issues that arise during the board’s discussion

As you can see, significant changes are coming to the lists and committees.  If you have the time, please consider logging in to the Virtual Town Hall today to hear what’s going on and make your voice heard. Once again, to participate, join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android via this link: https://zoom.us/j/862970792, or via phone by dialing 408.638.0968 and using Meeting ID 862 970 792.

Snow in the City





This is from the hotel room at 7:30 a.m. this morning. Meetings and sessions all day today in the convention center, but even YALSA is now warning via Twitter to stay inside after 2 p.m., the current start of the blizzard warning.

If you’re at Midwinter, stay warm. If you’re not used to this type of weather, don’t play, it will do damage to skin and feet and hands in minutes if you’re not properly protected.

If you are traveling tonight/ tomorrow and headed in the path of Linus, check the status of your flight/train. OHare & Midway are cancelling fights now, and I’m sure as Linus heads east it’ll only snarl things worse.


We’ve yet to see what Willow is going to do in it, as she’s currently either asleep or pretending to ignore everyone. I’m thinking asleep.
Stay warm, stay safe, and enjoy the conference!