Letters To The Editor

We invite your comments and encourage letters to the editor. Please send your letter via e-mail to rhonnold@voyamagazine.com

April 16, 2013

Hello, VOYA!

I read Kyle Lukoff’s article, Taking Gender Out of Reader’s Advisory (VOYA April 2013, pp. 632-633) with a smile and a fist pump at the end. As a youth librarian (and teen services minion), I always feel that my job is to find the book that’s right for the reader’s tastes, which leads to a lot of Clementine and Savvy in the hands of young men and Lego Star Wars and Little Brother in the hands of young women. In my opinion, it’s more important to establish credibility as someone who knows what a reader wants and gives them an out to reject books they don’t. Lest this sound like a refined and highly intellectual task, after I noticed a gap, I became known as the person that provides reviews for “butt books” and other material for my library’s recommendation publication to teachers. It wasn’t because there needed to be more “guy books” (although that was the shorthand used at the time), but because there weren’t any reviews for books that were funny, off-beat, and possibly a bit crude.

The less we think in terms of “boy books” and “girl books” and more about the interesting parts of a book, the better our RA will be for everyone.

Alexander Byrne

Youth Services Librarian

University Place Pierce County Library



  1. April says:

    Upon conducting a search of the phrase diversity AND programs of your magazine’s archive (on the database Wilson Web) I found that none exist. If we are to be advocates for youth, shouldn’t we include all youth, including immigrants, foreign language speakers, disability, etc. Perhaps you should put out a call for articles on those topics.

  2. Please take a look at our August 2010 issue with the theme The Diversity of Our Teen Audience. Articles addressed several diverse audiences including African American teens, Asian American teens, teens with autism, GLBTQ teens, incarcerated teens, teen mothers, Spanish speaking teens, and booklists for many other diverse groups. Thank you for reading VOYA!

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