Recently, YALSA announced their recent round of book lists. Naturally, there are some great books on the lists, but an interesting blog post by Diane Colson, YALSA Director, takes their release as an opportunity to examine the process and generation of YALSA books lists. In particular, she wonders if the current model works in a time of social media, eBooks, and instant access.
YALSA currently puts out book lists choosing topics that might be of interest to teens. “The books must be available in paperback, to keep them within easy purchasing range.” Colson mentions that “these lists have long been resources for both readers’ advisory and collection development, keeping library staff abreast with the new and wonderful.” But as Colson also points out, its currently not uncommon for library staff to discover books before they’re published! Sites like NetGalley, Edelweiss, and listserves like yalsa-bk listserv are full of book titles long before they make it on any formalized list.
So what is the future of book lists? One suggestion by Colson is the idea of dynamic lists. Lists that can change at anytime. Lists that have books added and removed when it is appropriate. The idea of dynamic lists seem more aligned with current methods of book lists on sites such as GoodReads or Amazon. But even Colson admits that YALSA is at the beginning stages of this examination. Needless to say, book lists, dynamic or static, are here to stay.