I covered graphic novels in this topic for my special topic paper, but how I end my discussion can be applied to NA and YA books. I basically say that getting the word that these books are available is the best way to get them to the readers. Advising to patrons deals with showing that the library supports different kinds of books and they are just as much as an option as any other resource. Reader’s advisory should cover a good area when giving books in the interview and shouldn’t judge the patron for their preference of story—that’s not part of the job.
NA, YA, and even graphic novels can deal with very serious issues and can apply to many different age groups; a book’s genre doesn’t make it more or less valuable. I once worked in a library that would place all the Harry Potter books in the “Junior” section, even though their reading levels were different. Of course, adults and young adults would have to go and check out what was labeled a children’s book, but that didn’t matter. These books covered several issues and could be read by anyone, but with their genre labeled this way some might have judged older readers for picking them out. Just because a book is labeled a certain genre doesn’t mean its story can’t be moving or serious.
The definition of “young adult” can be fuzzy in its own right and can make this topic even more of a stormy sea. What age actually makes a person an adult can be different both culturally and personally, so taking into account each individual account is very important. Really I think the best thing for librarians to do is to advertise all kinds of books to all kinds of readers, and not discriminate. If an 80-year-old wants to read The Fault in our Stars, let them. Maybe it’s their chosen genre or they are just looking for a break in their normal reading choice. The choice is up to the reader and as librarians, we should do our job in advising and not judging.