Policies and Procedures
To prepare an annual annotated list of recommended graphic novels appropriate for teen readers.
Purpose of List:
The list presents graphic novels published in the past 16 months that are recommended reading for teens aged twelve to eighteen. It is a general list of graphic novels, both fiction and nonfiction, selected for proven or potential appeal to the personal reading tastes of teens.
For the purpose of the Blogging Team, graphic novels are defined to include trade compilations and original works published in a sequential art format. Such titles should incorporate acceptable literary and artistic quality with effectiveness of presentation.
Standard selection criteria consistent with the Library Bill of Rights shall apply. 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 teens.
The Blogging Team:
The Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team consists of 10-14 members and one Coordinator.
Blogging Team members must belong to YALSA and should include a mix of public and school librarians, the majority of whom should have background and experience in the selection and use of graphic novels.
Blogging Team members are appointed by the Hub's Member Manager and serve a term of one year. Blogging Team members may be selected to serve a concurrent, second one-year term based on the member's first year performance and his/her interest and availability in serving another year, for a total of a two-year maximum concurrent term length on the team
Members who have served two consecutive years 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 Hub manager’s discretion, an exception may be made if a Blogging Team member resigns suddenly. The Hub manager’s, 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 the Blogging Team in question during the previous three years.
A YALSA staff member serves as a liaison to the Blogging Team to handle questions from the Coordinator regarding procedure, personnel, and the eligibility of titles as well as publisher contact.
Relationship with Publishers:
Blogging Team members should not solicit publishers for free and personal copies of books. If members are offered or receive unsolicited copies of books from a publisher, they may be accepted. Blogging Team members should 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.
By accepting appointment to the Blogging Team, each member assumes responsibility for reading, evaluating and nominating the graphic novels submitted for consideration in any year and actively participating in the work of the Blogging Team, including electronic correspondence between meetings, plus any specific duties are assigned by the Coordinator.
Blogging Team members are encouraged to solicit the opinions of teens on titles being considered for nomination.
The Coordinator presides at all virtual Blogging Team meetings; manages an electronic discussion list created by ALA at the request of the YALSA Program Officer, and is a voting member of the Blogging Team with all the rights and responsibilities of the other members. The primary responsibility of the Coordinator is facilitator of the Blogging Team’s charge, including all business matters such as notification of times of virtual meetings, preparation of an agenda and list of nominated titles. The Coordinator should only discuss a title after other team members have had an opportunity to speak, so as not to unduly influence the decision. The Coordinator works closely with the YALSA office.
To be selected for the recommended list, books must meet the following criteria:
- Reflect an integration of images and words
- Exhibit a clarity of visual flow on the page
- Ability of images to convey necessary meaning
- Outstanding quality of the artwork's reproduction
- Narrative enhanced by the artwork
- Narrative dominated by sequential art component
- Both young adult, and adult titles with strong teen appeal, may be considered
- Both fiction and non-fiction are eligible
- Adapted materials must remain true to, expand, or complement the original work
- Books published within the assigned calendar year, January 1 to December 31, in addition to those published between September 1 and December 31 of the previous year.
- Nominations may be accepted from the field and Blogging Team up to November 1 of that calendar year.
- Though graphic novels need not be published in the United States, they must be widely available for purchase in the U.S. at the time of consideration.
- Reissues will be considered if there has been significant change to the original content of the work since first issued. Whether or not the changes are significant enough is ultimately determined by the Coordinator.
- Collections of comic strips will be considered only if they contain an overarching story arc.
- Prior to nominating a graphic novel, it is expected that a Blogging Team member will have read the work. In the case of a field nomination, a Blogging Team member must read the work before seconding.
- Nominations must be submitted on the official form, which is available on the YALSA website, from the YALSA Office or from the current Blogging Team Coordinator.
- Neither publishers nor authors may nominate their own titles.
- The Coordinator will regularly disseminate a list of nominated titles to Blogging Team members.
Selection of the annual list will be made during the last group meeting of the year. Members can vote only on nominated books they have read. The final list will include books receiving seven (7) or more "yes" votes. The final vote will be counted by the Coordinator.
After titles have been selected, the Blogging Team will prepare a list with necessary bibliographic information and brief annotations, which should be written in a style that will capture the interest of the target audience -- teens aged 12 to 18. Annotations should also reflect content, to address interests of selectors. Original comic information should be listed in the annotation. YALSA's "Procedures for Writing and Publishing Annotations and Bibliographies" should be used for guidance. Responsibility for editing the final list(s) and ensuring its/their availability to YALSA staff in hard copy and disk form no later than the final day of each Midwinter Meeting, falls to the Blogging Team Coordinator.
Availability of Lists for General Distribution
The list of nominations will be updated on the Hub as nominations are finalized by the group.
The cumulative list will be available electronically on the YALSA Teen Book Finder Database and App.