Amazing Audiobooks Policies and Procedures

Committee Function Statement

To select, annotate, and present for publication an annual list of notable audio recordings significant to young adults from those released in the past two years.

The Committee

The Amazing Audiobooks Committee consists of eight members and one Chair. Members serve for two-year terms and may not serve more than two consecutive terms. The term of service begins at the end of Midwinter in the year under consideration and concludes at the end of the committee’s Midwinter selection meeting. A Board Liaison from the YALSA Board is assigned to the committee to handle questions from the Chair and the committee regarding procedure, personnel, and the eligibility of recordings. The Board Liaison works with the Chair to review the procedures of the committee and to make recommendations for improving the work of the committee. Recommendations range from those that can be implemented easily to those requiring action by the YALSA Board. Committee members consult the Liaison should there be unusual issues that the Chair cannot resolve, particularly issues regarding the Chair. If the Chair desires, the Vice President/President-Elect of YALSA may appoint an administrative assistant in consultation with the Committee Chair. The administrative assistant will assist the Chair in duties that may include the following: maintaining the nominations' database, tabulating votes and other such duties assigned by the Chair. The administrative assistant is a non-voting member of the Committee, and must be a YALSA member.

Members who have served two consecutive years as a member and/or administrative assistant may not be appointed to the same committee for three years from the conclusion of their last term. This guideline will not apply to the Chair.  In extreme circumstances, and at the President’s discretion, an exception may be made if a committee member resigns suddenly.  The President, after discussion with the Committee Chair, may determine that the best course of action is to fill the vacancy with an experienced committee member, and appoint a member in good standing who successfully served on the committee in question during the previous three years.

Committee Member Responsibilities

Each committee member must be responsible for listening to and ranking the majority of audiobooks submitted for consideration in any year. Members must meet at both the Annual and Midwinter meetings. Members should participate actively in the work of the committee, including electronic correspondence between meetings. Specific duties are assigned by the Chair. Members must be able to listen to audiobooks in all possible formats, both electronic and physical.

Chair Responsibilities

The Chair presides at all committee meetings and manages an electronic discussion list created by ALA at the request of the YALSA Program Officer. It is the responsibility of the committee chair to contact the various audiobook publishers with an explanation of the committee’s charge and need for members to receive submissions to be judged for the annual list. The committee chair should renew efforts each year to increase the number of audiobook publishers who are aware of and involved in this project. The Chair is a voting member of the committee with all the rights and responsibilities of the other members. It is also the responsibility to notify committee members of times and locations of meetings, to compile a list of suggested titles for discussion, and to provide an agenda before each meeting.

Eligibility & Criteria

Eligibility

  • All literary genres are eligible for consideration.
  • The Committee will consider and vote on titles published within the past two calendar years. A title may only be submitted once and cannot be reconsidered the next year.
  • Audiobooks must be available for libraries to purchase and lend.  This can include a digital format that is available for lending or in a physical format.
  • Titles previously published in another country (in any format) will be considered eligible the first year the title is available for libraries to purchase and lend in the US.
  • Titles previously unavailable in a format for libraries to purchase and lend will be considered eligible the first year the title is available for libraries to purchase and lend.
  • The audiobook is intended for or appeals to young adults, who are defined as persons age 12 to 18; works for this entire age range are to be considered.  Adult titles are also eligible for consideration if they have crossover appeal.
  • Audiobooks featuring single or full cast narration are eligible.
  • The chair, with assistance from designated YALSA staff and the Board Liaison, is responsible for verifying the eligibility of all nominated titles.

The criteria against which any particular audiobook should be judged as a candidate for a final list of annual recommendations by YALSA include:

  • Appeal of content to any or all potential listeners between 12 and 18 years old. While the list as a whole addresses the interests and needs of young adults ranging in age from 12 to 18, individual titles may appeal to parts of that range rather than to its whole. Material need not be “family friendly,” or appeal to the youngest common denominator of adults.
  • Adapted materials must remain true to, expand, or complement the original work. 
  • Effective use of voices, music, sound effects, and language.
  • Appropriateness of material for audio presentation.
  • Suitability of match between performer and text.
  • Possible expansion of audience of young adults for a text that has not been readily accessible in its print format to its target audience.
  • Professional production quality
  • Correct pronunciation of all text words is required, however, a title would not necessarily be disqualified if an error is deemed by the Committee to be minor. when evaluating the recording as a whole
  • Clarity of recording is required.
  • Informative packaging is preferred.

 

Curricular suitability can be a positive consideration but is not a requirement for inclusion.

Nominations

No recordings may be added to the Midwinter discussion list once the Midwinter selection meeting begins. Therefore, it is important to adhere to all deadlines.

The nomination period runs from the end of Midwinter to December 1.

The Chair will accept nominations throughout the year, including those from the field. A nomination form will be available on the YALSA website. Committee members may nominate an unlimited number of titles. Committee members may recommend to the chair that a particular production company be contacted specifically for review copies of a title that deserves committee attention. Neither publishers nor authors may nominate their own titles. The Chair will regularly disseminate a list of nominated titles to committee members. Each nomination must have been heard by at least one committee member in its entirety.

Committee members are encouraged to solicit the opinions of young adults on titles being considered for nomination.

Selection Process

A simple majority vote will determine the winners.

The final list, with annotations written by the committee, will be due in the YALSA Office before the end of the Midwinter Meeting. The list will be made available on the YALSA Web site.

Meeting Procedures

Voting Process

At the discretion of the Chair, straw votes may be conducted periodically. The sole purpose of such voting is to guide discussion by revealing levels of support for individual titles.

Observers

All Committee meetings will be open to ALA members and persons with guest badges.   Persons with guest badges may speak if recognized by the chair. Before the committee discusses each suggested title, an opportunity will be given to observers to make short comments, 2 minutes or less per observer, about the books but the Chair reserves the right to cut short the discussion if necessary. Publisher's representatives are requested to refrain from participating in discussion or asking for comments about their own books.

Amazing Audiobooks List

The final list of recommended titles numbers between 25 and 30 and addresses the wide scope of interests and concerns of listeners between 12 and 18. No one title need address the interests of all listeners in this range, but the list as a whole must offer a balance of developmental levels, intellectual concerns, and experiential backgrounds. Each year’s submissions for consideration must have been produced or released within the 24 months previous to the list’s release at Midwinter. The list is to be annotated, with the annotations reflecting both the content of the audiobook and the performance quality through which the production company enhances any print on which the production is based. An audiobook produced and released close to Midwinter may be eligible for reconsideration in the following year if fewer than ¾ of committee members have had the opportunity to review it between its submission and the final selection meeting of the term.

Diversity

Librarianship focuses on individuals, in all their diversity, and that focus is a fundamental value of the Young Adult Library Services Association and its members. Diversity is, thus, honored in the Association and in the collections and services that libraries provide to young adults.

Revision

These procedures will be subject to review, and possible revision by the YALSA Board of Directors following the first two years of implementation.  Revised, 01/08. Revised, 11/14.