Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee Policies and Procedures

All of our Selected Lists, have been transitioned over to the Hub. Transitioning the selected lists to The Hub will offer a better opportunity to highlight books that are being considered for each list in a more timely and easily accessible manner, as well as provide members with more virtual participation opportunities. More info can be found here.


Purpose

YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults Blogging Team presents fiction titles published for young adults in the past 16 months that are recommended reading for ages 12 to 18. The purpose of the annual list it to provide librarians and library workers with a resource to use for collection development and reader’s advisory purposes.

Background

YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA) Blogging Team evolved from a committee established under the School Libraries Section of ALA, which was charged with producing a list of 1930s "Best Books for Young People."  The committee has undergone several changes of focus and names over the years, including the Book Selection Committee (1954), and later the Committee for the Selection of Significant Adult Books for Young People (1963). It became the Best Books for Young Adults Committee (BBYA) in 1966. As publishing for the young adult market grew exponentially (over 2,000 titles per year in 2008) and seven other YALSA selection and award lists for young adults were created since its inception, Best Books for Young Adults was restructured and named Best Fiction for Young Adults by the YALSA Board of Directors at the midwinter meeting in 2010, and in 2018 was again restructured to the BFYA Blogging Team.   

Blogging Team Function Statement

What this blogging team does

YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults Blogging Team selects significant fiction books (not including graphic novels) published for young adults and annotates the selected titles.

Audience

The list is prepared for librarians to use with young adults and annotations will be written to attract the teen reader. It is a general list of fiction titles selected for their demonstrable or probable appeal to the personal reading tastes of the young adult. Such titles should incorporate acceptable literary quality and effectiveness of presentation. Standard selection criteria consistent with ALA’s Library Bill of Rights shall be applied.

Frequency of list

The Best Fiction for Young Adults selection list will be produced annually. In addition, a list of officially nominated titles will be shared with the young adult library community each month through YALSA's communication channels.

Blogging Team Makeup

How many members, length of term, etc.

Blogging team members, including coordinators, are appointed on a volunteer basis and serve a term of one year. There are 10-14 voting blogging team members, including the coordinator. Each term begins Jan 1 of the current year and ends Dec 31. Members who have served two consecutive years may not be appointed to the blogging team for three years from the conclusion of their last term. If someone resigns, the current Hub Manager appoints a new person to finish out that particular term. Reappointment is not automatic, but instead is based upon participation. Any individual who wishes to be appointed for a second year must fill out a Selection Blogging Team Volunteer Form the fall prior to their desired reappointment.

Members who have served two consecutive years as a team member may not be appointed to the same blogging team for three years from the conclusion of their last term. This guideline will not apply to the Coordinator.  In extreme circumstances, and at the Member Manager’s discretion, an exception may be made if a blogging team member resigns suddenly.  The YALSA staff liaison, after discussion with the Blogging Team Coordinator, may determine that the best course of action is to fill the vacancy with an experienced blogging team member, and appoint a member in good standing who successfully served on a blogging team during the previous three years.

Responsibilities of regular blogging team positions

Members are required to attend all blogging team virtual meetings and read widely from books eligible for nomination.  Additional information about blogging team member responsibilities is available from YALSA’s Handbook.

Special positions within Blogging Team

In addition to the coordinator and 10-14 personal blogging team members, the Best Fiction for Young Adults Blogging Team can also include a Booklist consultant.

Responsibilities of special positions

  1. A blogging team coordinator is appointed on a volunteer basis by The Hub Member Manager to a one-year term; and, as such, has the right to vote, to validate titles (by a vote) for consideration on the list and to enter into discussion of titles. It should be understood, however, that the primary responsibility of the coordinator is facilitator of the blogging team's charge, including all business matters. The coordinator should only discuss a title after other blogging team members have had an opportunity to speak so as not to unduly influence the decision.
  2. Booklist will designate a member of their staff to serve as a consultant, who is a nonvoting member of the blogging team.
  3. YALSA’s Communication Assistant serves as a staff liaison to this blogging team.

Title Acquisition and Eligibility

How titles are acquired

While YALSA's BFYA Blogging Team may receive books from publishers, it is the blogging team’s responsibility to look more widely. Members must make every effort to seek out eligible titles to consider. Other ways to obtain eligible titles include but are not limited to:

  1. Picking up galleys at Midwinter and Annual ALA meetings and at other conferences.
  2. Examining review copies received in the work place.
  3. Browsing new titles at bookstores.
  4. Borrowing books on interlibrary loan.
  5. Sharing books among members by mail.

What makes a title eligible or ineligible

The BFYA blogging team considers any fiction title published for a teen audience from September 1 of the previous calendar year through December 31 of the current calendar year. The coordinator is responsible for verifying the eligibility of all nominated titles. A book originally published outside the United States will be considered according to its U.S. publication year. Books published outside of the United States are not eligible unless a U.S. edition is available.  Titles that are self-published, published only in eBook format, and/or published from a publisher outside of the US will not be considered eligible until the first year the book is available in print or distributed through a US publishing house.

A work of fiction is defined as: a novel in prose or verse with one or more authors, or a collection of short prose or verse by one or more authors

Publisher solicitation

  1. All blogging team members must comply with YALSA’s Awards Blogging Team Conflict of Interest Policy. The staff liason is responsible for contact with the publishers.
  2. If members receive, or are offered, unsolicited copies of books from publishers, they may accept the titles.
  3. Blogging team members must not solicit publishers for favors, invitations, etc. If members receive these, however, they will use their own judgment in accepting. Publishers understand that such acceptance in no way influences members’ actions or selections.

Suggested selection criteria

“Best” is defined as: of the highest quality, excellence, or standing. As applied to teen fiction, this means that YALSA's BFYA Blogging Team looks for outstanding titles of fiction that are of interest and value to teenagers.
Suggested selection criteria:

  1. Titles are selected for their demonstrated or probable appeal to the personal reading tastes of young adults
  2. Appeal and popularity are not synonymous
  3. Titles from a series should be considered on their individual merits

In addition to the question of appeal, blogging team members should consider the following
when assessing titles: language, plot, style, setting, dialog, characterization, and design

Creation of the List

Nominating procedures

Deadlines for nominations

Nominations may be accepted from the field up to November 1 of that calendar year.

How nominations are solicited

Anyone can nominate titles for YALSA’s lists and awards. Nomination forms are available on the YALSA web site at www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists (select an award or list and then select the “Nominate a title” link).

Nominations from authors or publishers for their own titles are not eligible for the list.

Field nominations

Field nominations, which are nominations that come from someone who is not a member of the blogging team, require a second from a BFYA blogging team member. The coordinator informs the blogging team of field nominations, which remain active until all nominations are closed. If no blogging team member seconds the field nomination, the title is dropped from consideration.

Availability of nominations

The blogging team will consider and vote on books published within their assigned calendar year, January 1 to December 31, in addition to those published between September 1 and December 31 of the previous year.

Voting procedures

Final selections are at the last group meeting of the calendar year. Members can vote only on nominated books they have read. A book must receive a minimum of 7 "yes" votes to be placed on the final list regardless of the number of the 10-14-member blogging team present and voting. Members can only vote on books they have read. If a blogging team member must leave before the final vote, that member must give a signed ballot to the coordinator who will then designate a voting proxy for the absent member. The final vote will be counted by an individual designated by the coordinator.

Annotations

After the final discussion and selection, titles are then annotated by the blogging team. These annotations must be completed at the last meeting of the blogging team. Annotations will be written to attract the teen reader.

Distribution

The annotated list is disseminated each January. Nominations will be updated as frequently as the blogging team likes and will be made available via YALSA’s blog site The Hub. The complete and final annotated list will be available at the end of each calendar year.

Following its last meeting the blogging team will provide the YALSA Office with the final annotated list of selected titles. The final annotated list will be made available on the YALSA website and will also appear in a spring issue of Booklist. YALSA will include the final BFYA list in its annual Best of the Best for Young Adults compilation of selection and award titles for young adults.

Use of the List

Use and Reproduction

YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults list may be reproduced under "fair use" standards. As stated in Section 107 of The Copyright Act of 1976, factors to be considered shall include:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole

Sample citation

YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Blogging Team. "2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults."
Young Adult Library Services Association.[insert dater published on the web]. Young Adult Library Services Association, Web. [insert date accessed by user]. <www.ala.org/yalsa/bfya>.

For more information about acceptable use of YALSA's lists of recommended reading, and/or to request permission to reproduce the list, please contact ALA's Rights and Permission Manager at permissions@ala.org.

Revision

Last revision, December, 2017.  These procedures are subject to review and possible revision by the YALSA Board of Directors.