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28 January 2013

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By the time these lists come out, the titles have been on umpteen lists already. And I agree with you about the "discussions".

Sarah,
Glad I'm not alone in my feelings on the "discussions." Discussions, meetings, committees, blah blah blah.

I do think ALA can be a little too insidery, but...

The lists do help librarians decide which books to buy for their libraries. I'm biased b/c I've been on a YALSA committee for a couple of years, but we do put a lot of work and thought into creating the lists as collection development resources and they're a great help in reader's advisory, especially for reluctant readers. The adult lists could also serve that purpose - for the people who come in and ask "what should I read??" without wanting to say what they enjoy reading in the first place.

Tessa,
Well, I certainly didn't mean to criticize the effort most ALA committee members put in to creating these book lists. I was never as familiar as I should have been with the many children's and YA lists put out by ALA--largely because I always found the adult book lists not much practical good in suggesting books to readers (reluctant or otherwise). But--I was also not a collection development person, and I can see how a wide range of lists, including those from ALA, would help those buying the books get "the big picture."
But I maintain--too talky, much too insidery, and don't members of committees often have to commit to at least one conference a year? Frankly, that's out of the money and time reach of most paraprofessional library staff--many of whom, I often found, were the biggest readers of all.

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