Selected List Team Lead & Award Committee Chair FAQ

Selected List Team Lead & Award Committee Chair FAQ

Getting Started I Working Virtually I Eligibility I Nominations I Ethics I Meetings I Promotion I Additional Resources


How do we start getting books and e-books?

  • Beginning in 2017, YALSA has encouraged publishers to send e-books and e-ARCs to selected list blogging teams and book award committees. Many small publishers, including those who publish diverse titles, do not have funds to send hard copies of books. We encourage all blogging teams and award committees to use e-versions whenever possible. If a team or committee member has a financial hardship and cannot purchase an e-reader or tablet, the team lead or chair should contact the group's staff liaison to make arrangements for one to be loaned to the member for the duration of their time on the group.
  • For blogging teams, this starts in January, and for award committees, this starts in February, but not before you complete the following:
    • Letitia Smith from the YALSA office will send you a group roster in December. Since the preferred street and/or email address for where group member want books and e-books sent might be different from the preferred address for ALA official correspondence, you will need to have everyone confirm where they want their books sent and then create a Word document for staff to share with publishers. For blogging teams, please do this by Dec. 26, and for award committees, please have this completed by no later than Feb. 7. Feel free to change names at members’ request (use nicknames, drop middle initials, etc.) on the document that you send to publishers.
    • If you want your group roster posted on the YALSA web site, send the completed list to your staff liaison. It is not mandatory to have your group's mailing information on the web site. Your staff liaison can discuss options if you have group members that do not want their information to be made public.
    • Please note that while we do realize that someone’s address may change during the year, it is nearly impossible to get publishers to change the initial address they have on file. Group members should try their best to submit an address that will be reliable for the entire year. PO Box addresses may NOT be used.
    • To update their official ALA record (not just the address where books will be sent), like a new work address or cell phone number, committee members can do so online.

How do I get an Administrative Assistant?

Award Committee chairs can determine whether or not he or she would like an administrative assistant. This is optional, not mandatory. The assistant should be someone that that the chair is comfortable working with and who is a personal member of YALSA. An assistant cannot be someone who is not eligible to serve on the group, due to recent committee service on the same committee, or because of a conflict with the Awards Conflict of Interest Policy. Work with Letitia Smith to confirm that the person you would like to assume this role is eligible.

Who can ask for books and e-books?

The chair determines if it will be him/her, or the administrative assistant, if the chair has opted for one. Individual blogging team and committee members may request books through e-galley services like Edelweiss or Net Galley, but committee and blog team members should not ever contact publishers directly. All requests to publishers need to come officially through the one designated committee person.

Do our addresses need to be posted on the YALSA web site?

No. Group rosters with contact information are sent directly to the publishers. Therefore, team leads, chairs and members do not have to have your address posted on the web site.

How do I set up our virtual committee space & communication tools?

  • Please note that your ALA Connect space can’t be activated before your group's official term begins. So, you won’t have access to that space before then. Do NOT create your own group space in ALA Connect. One is automatically generated for you at the beginning of the group’s term.
  • Carefully read through the Chair Manual about working virtually and determine which tools and strategies will work best for you and your group.

How do I contact publishers?

New chairs will receive a list of up-to-date publisher contacts from the outgoing chair, and Nichole O'Connor can provide contacts as well.

How does the nomination form work?

As team lead or chair, determine who should receive your nomination form. Typically, the chair and, if there is one, the administrative assistant receive the form. Blogging teams can make their form using Google Forms or work with the YALSA office to have one created. For Award Committees: by no later than Feb. 21 send Anna Lam ( the name of your group’s form, along with the email addresses of who should receive the form. Nominations should open no later than March 1. Blogging Team Leads should work with the Hub's Member Manager and their staff liaison.

What is the role of the Booklist Consultant?

The consultant is there to be a resource to award committees, and may address matters like eligibility questions, publisher contact information, identifying book reviews, etc. The consultant may participate fully in the committee discussions, but he/or she is not a voting member of the committee. The consultant is not a gopher or an assistant.

Who do I contact with questions?

How do I organize the work of my group?

  • The Chair Manual provides a wealth of information and tips to help you develop and implement a year-round work plan via virtual tools.
  • Check out these planning templates:
  • Read the timeline for selection chairs:
  • Talk with the out-going chair or team lead. Please make sure you identify the difference between what has been a past practice and what is policy. Practices can be discontinued at any time, and are things that past chairs put into place relating to their personal preferences and management style. Policies are written rules that must be followed. They would appear in the policies section of your group’s web page on the YALSA site. If you’re not sure what is a practice and what is a policy, then check with your staff liaison.


Is there any official policy on what can be discussed on a committee listserv or virtual space?

No. The group needs to work year round and leverage the virtual tools to do that. Groups should talk about titles via whatever virtual tools and spaces you decide to use. Award Committee chairs should think about how best to organize virtual and face-to-face work so that the time together at conferences is maximized. The Chair Manual provides a wealth of information and tips to help you develop and implement a year-round work plan via virtual tools.


Who do I contact with eligibility questions?

Your Oversight Committee and Staff Liaison can help determine book eligibility.

May we consider books published for ages 10-12, if they seem to be appropriate for (and of interest to) the younger spectrum of our 12-18 age group?

Yes. If a book is marketed to a 12 year old, it fits within YALSA’s definition of young adult, 12-18.

What if a book has a Library of Congress publishing date that differs from the date on the book?

The ultimate source for a book’s publication is the publisher. Your staff liaison can confirm a date with the publisher, if needed.


Is it important to seek field nominations/suggestions?

Yes. YALSA members want to be engaged in the work of the selected list blogging teams and award committees, and this is an easy way for them to do that. Be sure to recruit group members to promote the opportunity to submit suggestions via YALSA’s Connect Groups and other listservs like PUBYAC, LM_NET, CCBC-Net and state library or reading listservs as well as Twitter and the YALSA e-news. Don’t assume people know how to submit nominations and avoid using too many acronyms or jargon. When you Tweet, be sure to Tweet @yalsa so staff can re-tweet your message. Also, be sure to use the #yalit hashtag. YALSA also has a Social Media Committee that can help with social media posts.

Who makes publishers aware that their books are nominated?

The award committee chair decides whether it will be him/her or the administrative assistant who contacts a publisher and requests all nominated titles that the committee has not received. For award committees, it is not necessary to tell a publisher that a title has been nominated. Typically if an award committee writes a publisher and states they are “interested in x title, and wonder when it's expected to be published" or "more widely available", it almost always results in a mailing to the committee without the committee having to come right out and ask that it be provided. Blogging Team Leads can determine if they want the publisher alerted, and if so, then ask the staff liaison to do that on their behalf.

How firm are the award committee nomination deadlines before conferences?

The deadlines before Annual and Midwinter exist for 2 reasons: 1). So that the office has time to pack nominated titles to bring to the meetings and 2). So award committees have ample time to read nominated titles before each meeting. If the chair feels like the committee would benefit by extending the deadline for committee nominations that is not a problem. Please work with Nichole O’Connor to arrange this.

When providing bibliographic information on official nomination form, do we use dashes in ISBNs?

Dashes are not necessary. It will speed up the process of inputting all of the information online if they are excluded.

If a group member nominates a title in the early part of the year—February or March—can s/he withdraw or eliminate that title later on?

A nomination must remain on the list of nominations for the entire selection process until the final announcements. Furthermore, the title must be discussed at during straw polls, final deliberations, etc.

When a member has nominated a galley, should s/he reread it after receiving the hard copy to see if there have been significant changes?

The group member should make notes of any questions or concerns in the galley, then compare the final copy with the galley to be sure those were adequately resolved.

What do we do about locating nominated titles that we haven’t received?

  1. Start with your local library
  2. Try to get it via interlibrary loan
  3. Try to borrow it from someone else on your group
  4. Check with your staff liaison to see if they have it
  5. Try your local bookstore

Publishers are under absolutely no obligation to send the committee books or e-books, and group members are expected to read the nominated titles regardless of whether or not they receive a free hard copy or e-version.

Can we nominate a book that was nominated in the previous year but did not make the list?

That depends on the eligibility period for your particular list or award. Consult the YALSA web site, and then contact your staff liaison if you still have questions.


How, if at all, does the fact that a member may review books for a professional journal impact the integrity of the selection process?

  • Neither selected list blogging teams nor award committee members should associate themselves with any YALSA selection or award committee on any reviews. All selected list team members can continue to review as long as it is clear whenever they speak about a book, they are not doing so as a member of any YALSA selected list team, but as a librarian, educator, etc.
  • Award committee members may not review titles that are eligible for the award committee they’re serving on. For example, Morris Committee members must avoid reviewing, blogging about, etc. YA titles that are written by first time authors.
  • Please read the conflict of interest policy and guidelines for further information:

What are appropriate uses for the books I receive from publishers after I’m finished with them?

Most members donate their books, either to a school or public library. They can be given away to shelters, community centers, etc. Or you can keep and enjoy them. They may not be sold, per YALSA's Ethical Behavior Policy for Volunteers (PDF).

Is it ok to accept invitations from publishers to dinners and receptions?

Yes, in most cases. Please read YALSA's Ethical Behavior Policy for Volunteers (PDF) for details. Also, be sure that you do not discuss any confidential group work with them or seek personal favors from them. Be sure to be gracious and RSVP to invitations. Do not say yes to things you aren’t sure you can attend. Follow up afterwards with a thank you note.

What do I do if I think I or one of my group members has a conflict of interest?

Please read YALSA’s Conflict of Interest Policy online at: If you have a concern, please err on the side of caution and contact the Selection & Award Committees Oversight Committee chair to discuss the matter further and come to a resolution.


Can I or group members Tweet or use other social media during committee meetings?

No. Group members are expected to give their full attention to the meetings. For award committees, due to the strictly confidential nature of discussions, absolutely no information can be disseminated from within the meeting via electronic devices or other means. For more information please consult the Social Media Policy: or talk to your board liaison.

How do I schedule meetings for Annual and Midwinter?

Nichole O’Connor will get in touch with you in Feb. in regards to your Annual meetings. Be sure to have polled your committee members to see what unavoidable conflicts they might have, so you can schedule meetings around those as much as possible. You can use the same times as the previous committee, but you do not have to. You may not schedule committee meetings at the same time as the Leadership Development Session at Annual and Midwinter. Selected List Blogging Teams are not required or expected to meet at conferences; however, if the team lead would like to reserve a work space, they should contact Nichole O'Connor. Team leads may not require their team members to attend conferences or in-person meetings of any kind.

When will I find out where my committee is meeting at Midwinter or Annual?

Exact meeting locations are not announced until mid-November for Midwinter and mid-May for Annual. However, as Chair, when you meet is up to you. The meeting schedule process begins in September for Midwinter and January for Midwinter. When meeting times and locations are finalized, YALSA posts them on the yalsacom listserv and on the wiki

What do I do if I come to my meeting room and the books aren’t there or the room isn’t set up?

Phone or text Nichole O’Connor. Please be aware, though, that the room will not be set up more than 60 minutes in advance. Therefore, only contact Nichole if it is less than an hour before your meeting starts.

Are visitors allowed at the meetings?

ALA has an open meeting policy. Any registered conference attendee is welcome to attend any meeting going on at the conference. Please have seating around the perimeter of the room for visitors and be welcoming to them. The only exceptions are the award committee meetings. Those are closed and visitors are not permitted.

Can books only be discussed at face-to-face meetings?

No. Books are expected to be discussed year round using virtual tools.

How do I set up virtual meetings or discussions with my committee?

The Chair Manual provides a wealth of information and tips to help you choose a method for virtual meetings and discussions, and you are also encouraged to contact your staff liaison for other ideas or assistance.


How do I get the word out about my group's list or award?

Work with

Further information is at

There is incorrect information or a typo on the YALSA web site about my group, list or award.

Contact Anna Lam at describe the exact problem and request that it be fixed.

Do I write press releases for my list or award?

Yes, please work with YALSA’s Communications Specialist. They can send you a template to use and will help you with any questions you have.