Sunday, April 19, 2015

S.O.Y.A.M.R.G. - Southern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group

Because really who has time to read
 during the week?
I've been a member of SOYAMRG for well over ten years now. I was an unofficial member while working on my MLS at IU Bloomington and I became an official  member in summer 2004 after graduation. In a nutshell, SOYARMG is a book review group that focuses on teen or young adult books.  We do  occasionally  review audiobooks, ebooks and maybe one cd-rom, but in  general we receive print copies of fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, and  biographies written for young adults.  We also get a healthy smattering of juvenile  materials.   Since I work in youth services and wear both the teen and juvenile hats I don't mind reading picture books, easy readers and juvenile chapter books along with my teen fiction. We don't get as many graphic novels as I'd like so I tend to make a dive for those immediately.  (hint to publishers, please send comics and manga)

Our group meets 6 times a year.  Its every other 3rd Tuesday of the month (January, March, May, July, September, November).  Meetings start at 5pm and can run until 8pm or 9pm.  In July we have a potluck meeting that start at 11am.  Usually that is our big wrap it up before the school year and make other organizational decisions meeting (sadly, I already know I cannot attend this year's potluck since we do our storytimes on Tuesday). We currently meet at a local public library's community room. Each person has a stack of books ranging from 3-12 or even more sometimes.  If its a kids book you give a super quick review, love it or hate it then we move on. Tween and teen fiction gets a bit more time but with so much to cover we still try to limit reviews to a minute.  Sometimes if you get to verbose we have a nominated time keeper with a klaxon on their phone to help you wrap things up. This can be really tough when a book is amazing and you want to savor it again or its so bad you just cannot stop highlighting all the ways it failed. 

Hail to the Queen.
Once you are done with your reviews you get to choose a book for next time.  At the end of the meeting we do the math to figure out how many more books each person needs.  Then its a free for all. You write out a list of your books for a member who then uses that list to ensure that all books are reviewed and that the reviews get to the publishers.  The publishers in turn reward us with more books. Yeah! The best part is you get to keep the books for your library collection.  Or you give them to another member whose collection needs them more.  If you get proof or galley copies these items can be used for summer reading prizes. 

For more info you can find us on Facebook or our website

Interested in joining?  If you live in the south western Ohio and would like to review youth literature, dues are only $10 a year. 


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