Hey, YALSA, don’t mess with a good thing!
YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens list always sparks a lot of discussion among readers and bloggers—some of the nominations are surprising, and it’s always a good resource if you’re looking for something good to read. So it’s good news that nominations for this year’s list are under way. Anyone can nominate a worthwhile book; the nomination form is here and the criteria for the list are given here. In general, the book has to have been published between Sept. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2011, and must have appeal for teens (ages 12-18); check this page for the list of nominations once they start rolling in.
Here’s the bad news: For some reason, in order to see the previous year’s lists at this page, YALSA now requires you to fill out a form if you’re not a subscribing librarian. This is a terrible move. One of the great things about the GGNFT list is its popularity outside the library community—I know a lot of bloggers who follow it and link to it regularly, and creators watch it as well. Making someone fill out a form before they can see your page is a guaranteed way to kill traffic and move from the mainstream to a closed circle, which seems like the opposite of what YALSA wants to do. I hope they reconsider and open these pages back up to the public again. I see that my SLJ colleague Liz Burns (who is a member) is way ahead of me on this, and apparently even if you are a member the info isn’t that easy to get to. While I can understand the importance of having members-only content (I guess the annotated booklists are members-only, which explains why I never even knew they existed), shutting off access to the booklists seems at odds with the purpose of the organization.