ALA: New Adult

And SexyTimes was had by all!

Um, no, not really, but based on the twitter stream for the New Adult Conversation Starter that Sophie Brookover, Kelly Jensen and myself did (Twitter hashtag #ALA13NA), I apparently used that term a lot.

As a recap, the three of us did a Conversation Starter on New Adult Fiction at ALA. I am so pleased to say that it was a packed house. (Thanks to Tiff Emerick for the photo of the session.)

From the start, we wanted this to be a true “conversation” so there was no PowerPoint; there was no formal talk; there wasn’t even any “answers,” rather just a lot of things to consider. We did a lot of conversing about it!

And, we had a song. The lovely and talented Julie Jurgens wrote and sang a song for our program! (You may know Julie from her blog, Hi Miss Julie, and on Twitter she is also @himissjulie).

As a reminder, out description for the conversation starter: New Adult Fiction (NA) has made waves in the New York Times, the Guardian, Publishers Weekly, and more. Depending on who you ask, NA either demands its own section of the library or is just a new name to describe books about twenty-somethings, which libraries have always carried. Maybe it’s “young adult books with sex.” Maybe it’s books about emerging adults trying to figure out the world before an uncertain future happens. Join a lively discussion on what NA may be, who’s reading it, where it’s shelved, how we catalog it, and how it fits into reader’s advisory.

Since we have all, at one time or another, been in sessions that didn’t do what they said they would, we wanted to include all these points and questions.

Our rough outline of what we spoke about:

— definitions of “New Adult”

— Some of the current NA books, touching a bit on self publishing and traditional publishing

— Who is reading it?

— Shelving: Are libraries buying it (with a side of if it’s self published, maybe not) and where is it being shelved

— How it fits Readers Advisory and reaching readers

We also spoke about various issues we have, such as whether it’s a genre or category; whether it’s something with it’s own shelf or area in the library; the problems with the term “New Adult’ when searching for information/collection information; library-land terms of art versus what readers or authors of NA use for terms; the NA books we’ve read; the interaction with Young Adult.

We compiled a list of New Adult Resources at our joint ReadAdv blog. Kelly at Stacked has used the “New Adult” tag on all her posts that discuss this. And Sophie put together a Storify of the Tweets that were going on during the session, to give you a bit of a flavor of how the conversation went.

Since we don’t have a PowerPoint, etc., I’ll link to posts I find about the panel; not so much to be “me me me” but in order to give you different perspectives and information about the program. I’ll edit this post to add more, as I find them.

My ALA: what I saw, did, and learned by Maureen at By Singing Light

Edited to add:

Cloud Unbound Heather’s write up is especially awesome because she didn’t even get to attend! But she participated in a lot of our conversations before ALA, and followed along with the panel thanks to the hashtag.

New Adult: It’s Not Just the Sexytimes at The Sassy Librarian

New Adult by Hannah Gomez at The Yalsa Hub

Brief Overview of the Past Week at Miss Tiff Reads




ALA may be over, but the conversation continues. It’s going to be interesting, to see how “New Adult” evolves (or not) over the coming years. And if you have any questions, or comments, or suggestions about New Adult, please share!

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