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Will Great Graphic Novels for Teens disappear from public view?

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.

Brigid Alverson About Brigid Alverson

Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor and a newspaper reporter; now she is assistant to the mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts. In addition to editing GC4K, she writes about comics and graphic novels at MangaBlog, SLJTeen, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Good Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters in college, which is why she writes so much. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.


  1. Susan Timmons says:

    I have to agree! When I heard the nominees were announced, I immediately clicked on the link…but when faced with the rather lengthy form, I closed out. Frankly, I’m busy — and I really don’t want my name added to another email list, just for the privilege of viewing the nominees.

  2. I stumbled across the actual nominations page while I was linking to the info, here’s the direct link to the 2013 nominations:

  3. Snow Wildsmith says:

    And even if you are a member of YALSA or ALA, you still have to sign in every single time, which is a pain. I agree with Susan, that if I were not a member already, I just wouldn’t sign up. Many people don’t want to share their information. As a librarian I am very disappointed by this decision. It goes against everything that librarians stand for: free and easy access to information. We can not throw roadblocks into people’s way as they try to get the information they need!

  4. Mike Pawuk says:

    I agree. Very poor taste for YALSA to do this. I remember when they used to block out annotations too unless you were a YALSA member. This is even worse.

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