Fabulous Films for Young Adults Policies and Procedures

Membership: 9, including Chair, plus an administrative assistant, if requested by the chair, and an editor from the Audio-Visual Section of Booklist to serve as consultant.

Qualifications: YALSA members who have experience selecting and evaluating films for a young adult audience and who must be able to attend both the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference of ALA.

Term of Office: 2 years, commencing February 1 and ending Jan. 31 two years later.

Function: To annually select films especially significant to young adults from those currently available for purchase; to annually prepare one annotated list based on a chosen theme of at least ten and no more than twenty-five recommended titles.


Philosophy and Purpose: YALSA believes that access to library collections which reflect young adult interests and needs is essential and that multimedia formats are necessary to accommodate varied interests. The Fabulous Films for Young Adults List is tangible evidence of YALSA's recognition of the belief that moving images play an important role in the life of a young adult. The purpose of this list is to identify for collection developers a body of films relating to a theme that will appeal to young adults in a variety of settings.

Selection criteria consistent with the Library Bill of Rights shall be applied throughout the selection process. Titles chosen are of acceptable quality and are effective in their presentation. Titles will be selected to appeal to young adults with varied tastes and interests.

Audience: The list is a collection development tool for librarians and others serving diverse young adults ages twelve through eighteen.

Eligibility: To be considered for the list, films must be currently available for purchase in the United States. The film must be relevant in a noteworthy way to the chosen theme. In general, a whole film series will not be included on the list. Individual titles from a film series may be nominated and included. At the chair's discretion, the committee may consider multi-part film programs. All segments must be previewed. Titles that are re-edited or re-released must contain a significant amount of new material to qualify for consideration and will be treated as new titles.

Nomination Process: The nomination period runs from the end of ALA Midwinter to December 1 of the same year. Nomination forms will be available from the YALSA Web page.

Titles may be nominated by committee members as well as from the field. Field nominations must be confirmed by a committee member. Film makers, distributors, or producers may not nominate their own productions. They may request that a particular title be viewed by a committee member for list consideration.

Nominations for titles to be considered must be forwarded on official nomination forms to the administrative assistant in a timely manner, and received no later than December 1 of each year. The administrative assistant will regularly disseminate a list of nominated titles to the chair and committee members.

Each committee member will receive items to preview throughout the year. These items are often sent by producers and distributors per committee request, although many are unsolicited.

To be nominated, a title must have been viewed by at least one committee member.

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

Committee Composition and Function: The committee will include nine members, including the chair, appointed by the YALSA Vice President/President-Elect. Members are appointed for two-year terms, and the chair is appointed to a one-year term. The current YALSA President will fill any committee vacancy. Terms begin and end at the conclusion of the Midwinter Meeting. Members shall be appointed on a staggered basis to maintain a balance of new and continuing members. Reappointment of the chair or committee members is not automatic and is based on participation in the work of the committee and recommendation by the chair. After the end of the second consecutive term, a member must wait five years before he or she is eligible to serve again. Barring emergency, committee members are required to participate in the nomination process, to evaluate videos and digital video disks, to attend all committee meetings and to actively participate in discussions.

The editor, or editor's designee, of the Audiovisual Media section of Booklist will serve as an ex officio member of the committee.

An administrative assistant will be appointed, in consultation with the committee chair, by the YALSA Vice President/President-Elect. The administrative assistant may serve for three successive years as a non-voting member of the committee.

Acquiring Titles for Screening: The administrative assistant will automatically assign a committee member to view titles that meet list criteria which are favorably reviewed in Booklist, School Library Journal, Science Books & Films, SLJ Directory of Current and Forthcoming Videos or other professional journals. The administrative assistant will also automatically assign award-winning and notable titles that meet list criteria from regional and national film festivals. It will be the decision of the committee member viewing the item to determine if it should be nominated for the list.  Outstanding popular titles may be considered for inclusion - to be added based on responses from the committee.

Creation of the List: Committee members are encouraged to nominate and view titles prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting and to discuss those titles on the committee discussion list. 

All selection decisions for the YALSA Fabulous Films for Young Adults List will be finalized at the annual Midwinter Meeting. Members must be present in the viewing room and must have viewed the entire title to be able to vote on that title. There will be no proxy voting.

Each title must be viewed in its entirety to be considered for inclusion on the list.

A simple majority of the members present at each session during the Midwinter Meeting will suffice to place a film on the list. If a title fails to receive a majority vote, it will not be included in the current list, nor will it be reconsidered for subsequent lists.

In the case of films that are not able to be viewed by members before the Midwinter Meeting: after ten minutes of viewing, members present will vote as to whether or not they want to continue viewing the video. If the vote to discontinue is unanimous, viewing will cease and the title will be dropped from consideration. If the vote is not unanimous, the timer will be reset for an additional ten minutes. After this period, members will vote again, and if the vote to discontinue watching the video is unanimous, viewing will cease and the title will be dropped from consideration. If the vote is not unanimous, the timer will be reset for an additional 40 minutes.   After this period, members will again vote, and if three-fourths or more of the members want to discontinue watching the video, viewing will cease and the title will be dropped from consideration.

Once a title has been viewed, each member will have the opportunity to critique that item. This discussion begins with the member who nominated the video, and will proceed around the room clockwise, with each committee member having a chance to speak.  Discussion will end with the nominator of the video, who will get an additional five minutes to answer and address questions that may have arisen during the discussion of the video.

Titles must be evaluated on their own merits and may not compared to other similar works.

After each member who desires to comment has done so, voting takes place in the same order. The administrative assistant tabulates this vote and announces the results.

The administrative assistant will assign a committee member the responsibility of preparing an annotation of the selected title.

The chair will ensure that the annotated list is turned in to the YALSA staff before Tuesday of the Midwinter Meeting. This final list must be submitted electronically, in a format approved by the YALSA office, and in hard copy. It must include complete and accurate bibliographic information, annotations, and producer information with current addresses.

The chair will ensure that the press release is written and turned in to the YALSA staff before Tuesday at the Midwinter Meeting.

Distribution of the List: It is YALSA's aim to achieve as wide a distribution of the list as possible. The list will be made available to the library press through ALA's Public Information Office. It will be sent to Booklist and other professional library and education journals, and also will be made available on YALSA and ALA's web site and other appropriate web sites and electronic discussion lists. Committee members and the administrative assistant will continue to look for other ways to promote the list.

Suggested Selection Criteria

Technical Qualities

  • Is the photography effective and imaginative? (e.g. choice and handling of visuals, composition, color, focus, exposure, special effects).
  • Is the sound acceptable? (e.g. good fidelity and synchronization, realistic sound effects, relevant interplay between sound track and image).
  • Is the editing satisfactory: (e.g. continuity, matching, rhythm, pacing, length).
  • Do the actors have good voice quality, diction and timing?
  • Is the acting believable and convincing?
  • Does the narrator have good voice quality, style, diction and timing?


  • Is it well organized?
  • Is the script well written and imaginative?
  • Is it timely or pertinent to young adult needs and interests?
  • Is the treatment appropriate for the subject: (e.g. animation, dramatization, documentary).


  • Will it stimulate and maintain interest?
  • Is the format, vocabulary and concept(s) appropriate?
  • Will it affect attitudes, build appreciation, develop critical thinking and/or entertain?

Overall Effect

  • Are the technical qualities, content and utilization combined into a pleasing whole?
  • Does the film exemplify the theme in a meaningful way?