Fall 2007 - YALSA - American Library Association


Fall 2007 - YALSA - American Library Association

Oh, Those Golden Oldies . . .

reason that YALSA’s annual list of the ten

best adult books for young adults is called

the ALEX Awards in her honor. (Mrs.

Edwards was called “Alex” by her friends,

though probably not by the terrified young

librarians whom she trained so strictly at

the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore,

where she “invented” young adult library

services and later wrote about the topic in

The Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts

in 1969). To my sorrow, I never knew

Margaret A. Edwards, but I confess that,

in a way, I’m sort of glad, because that

means I never had to tell her that my own

(secret) favorite adult book of the ’50s

was—wait for it—Peyton Place by Grace

Metalious (1956). Some things are better

kept secret.

The 1950s—when YALSA and I

were still young—were years of opportunity

for young readers: opportunity to

read for pleasure, inspiration, occasional

edification, sometime enlightenment, and,

yes, even secret titillation. Ah, good times.

And good books, that, like YALSA—and

maybe even me—have in the years since

become Golden Oldies!

Happy Birthday, YALSA. YALS

Editor’s note: See Michael Cart’s featured

article in the October issue of American


6 YALS | Young Adult Library Services | Fall 2007

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