As I mentioned in February, YALSA changed how people could access the awards and booklists on their website: Changes to the YALSA Website.
To recap, at the time, if one went to the YALSA website to look for information about awards and booklists, one had to either login as a YALSA member or fill out a form, supplying information and an email address.
Now, if you go to YALSA’s website, the only time you have to supply that information is to access the lists for both current and past awards and booklists.
For some reason (and I believe this is across the board an ALA website issue), the link on that actual YALSA pages brings you to an access denied 403 error; the better way to login is to use the button on the top menu. A further ALA website quirk? If you had already logged into your account somewhere other than the YALSA website, it gets a little confusing — at least for me. I cannot even try to replicate here, except I got into a bit of a wash/rinse/repeat cycle of trying to access lists and being told I needed to login while the top login button clearly reflected I was already logged in. I also ran into similar multi-click issues one logged in, with the sidebar links to awards/lists not recognizing I was a member and having to say I wanted to login but that no longer bringing me to the 403 error but now bringing me to a page where I could click for awards and lists and some of them had errors (the nonfiction one didn’t work at all because of a typo)… Well, yes, this website/login/email form seems just as much a work in progress, but at least now the information about the awards and lists arent blocked. Neither are the nomination forms. If you have different experiences logging in as a member and trying to get to the various lists, let me know.
I haven’t experimented with non-member access, because I don’t want to clutter up whatever database YALSA is putting together with my experimental logons to see how many times the form needs to be filled out. If you’re a non-YALSA member who has filled out the form, is it a one time only deal?
The previously noted workaround still works: to bypass the logon/form entirely, use a search engine to get to the specific list information.
Website and implementation quirks aside, now the conversation becomes much more focused. Only the awards and lists (annotated or not, top ten or not) require action by the person looking for them.
So, the following questions:
Will requiring this step be viewed by a burden that people won’t want to do, and so they will look elsewhere? Elsewhere could be going to another source for the same information; or deciding, that the specific list isn’t what is needed and so other lists (for example, the Cybils) will be used instead.
Why the jump from filling out a form for annotated 2012 lists (per the October 2011 Board document, see my prior post) to a form for all lists, current and past, annotated or not? Where/when did this conversation take place where membership could give their input? I try to keep up on the various places YALSA puts news and conversations (ALA Connect, its blogs, twitter, listservs, membeship emails, board documents) and if I missed something (which is entirely possible) I want to know, what should I have been doing as a YALSA member to be informed?
Is not having to fill out a form to get to current/archived lists a membership benefit?
In informal conversations I’ve had with people about membership benefits and lists, well, the reactions vary, from people seeing this as no big deal to those who think it should all be open-access without any hoops to jump through.