Well, today, I finally ran into YALSA's "block." Basically, if you have been under a rock, when you decide to take a look at YALSA's lists, you see a "Thanks for your interest blah-blah give us your information or skip all this and sign in."
I hate signing in. Mainly because for some dumb reasons my passwords hate me. Or the system hates my password. I also don't always remember my user name and/password and ALA Connect and Member Services have still left a bad taste in my mouth (basically, I asked recently why we can't get invoices. The state library association gives me one right off the bat AND I can access it for say, when I want to print it off for taxes. I asked if this could be consider and got a "no"). As if ALA doesn't get enough of my money right now.
Yeah, I could just end my membership there, but if I didn't like YALS so much, I would.
Ok, so why did I finally run into this block? I wanted to add the book lists to my resources page because it looks somewhat sparse and I haven't started looking for stuff to add yet. My first thought was "Let's check to see if that block is there."
Yes it was. What the hell?
Now read this post on the YALSA Blog.
Read it? Did you take a look at the comments?
Here we go. First, all the information about the awards is available outside of the wall, EXCEPT the actual list themselves. So, I can nominate a book without actually signing in or giving them my information (except in the process). That means non-members could try to nominate books. In certain cases, I understand that, but I'd think that should be more behind the wall than it is. I can also learn all I want about the award, see nominations (WHAT?), but not actually see what won. That is messed up logic.
"Members who want to access the lists on reference desk computers or other non-personal computers and don’t want to login with personal information can also bookmark the links for the lists and awards. These URLs are now posted in the “Members Only” section of the website." That's kinda nice, but something about this irks me. That is also somewhat messed up logic. If I want to book mark the link, am a non-member, but need it to do my job, I have to get a membership to get special links? Um...
"Fourth, several people have raised the question about whether it is worth it to ask for this information. The answer is we’re not sure yet, but we think it might be." Ok, you've been at this since February to when this was posted on May 30. Frankly, you should know whether or not this is working. I'm not impressed with the statistics.
"Fifth, some members have indicated that they are against this change because they feel that YALSA is restricting or putting up barriers to information. In fact, YALSA is doing the same thing that most of you do every day in your own libraries..." Yes, but when I want e-books from my library or want to browse my library or any library collection, I don't have to log in to do it. While I get the database analogy, it doesn't fly because it isn't true of every database or even the catalogs. I also can get that library card for FREE (the majority of the time) in order to access the information. In order to get access to these lists, I have to do what Facebook's apps basically do: get my information to enjoy it or pay a lot of money for a list.
YALSA, you are "putting up barriers to information" especially in a time of budget crunches and closures. I'm thinking of city librarians who just want to promote reading or justify the need to purchase books. The time strapped librarian who doesn't have time to fill out forms and forgets when s/he gets home because of how tired the person is.
I'm also looking at this fact, which is wrong, absolutely wrong:
- The Newbery and Caldecott List is public, but the Printz is not. And don't get into the fact that these are different divisions. I recognize that, but they are also respected awards and I find the Printz equivalent to that. If other divisions can do this, so can YALSA. Put other stuff behind the walls. Stuff that people would be glad to pay for.
By the way membership is down 3.7% according to the President's Report
Disclosure: This is a rant. I may not know all of the details and may not have read up on all of the details leading to this decision on YALSA's behalf. It may not be prudent to take this discussion out onto my blog, but honestly, others are doing it too and I restarted the discussion on twitter. I'm very annoyed about this and am just using this as a way to vent. There are great blogs out there and a very nicely written post,with more comments and links, was done by Liz B of A Chair, A Fireplace, and A Tea Cozy (link to her reaction to the update from June 5)
Things Discovered...after the majority of this was written
- The Philosopher Musician thinks that as a patron and person, lack of access to the links is uncool and that the basic list itself should be available freely as it is very basic information...SO
- He just discovered the Printz List is available on Wikipedia. To be honest, I'm kind of embarrassed that I didn't think of this first and am sorry if YALSA forces it to come down after this information comes to light.
- Also, kudos to whoever is maintaining that Wikipedia page.