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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Developing Library Collections For Today’s Young Adults

Today I have been working from home preparing for the Genre Study on Thursday and Trivia Night tonight, but right now I am taking a very productive lunch break by viewing the live broadcast of a free Webinar from Booklist entitled, “Developing Library Collections For Today’s Young Adults.”  You will be able to find it archived here on Monday.

The presenter is Amy Pattee, Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College.

If you can’t wait, here is the link to the slides.

I am part way through, but it is very informative.  I like how it is focused on how to develop a collection and NOT focused on what is hot right now.  What is hot now for YAs changes so fast.  Also, I have tools like the ones I listed here to do figure that out.

What Ms. Pattee is giving us here is very useful, nitty gritty details of how you craft and maintain the best YA collection for your community, no matter what the trends are.

I don’t know about you, but being newer to the whole YA collection management thing, this is information I was in desperate need of.  The skills I have [and even use to train others] for collection development in adult leisure reading collections is not enough to work with our YA collection.

If you work with collections for teens, use the links above to see how Ms. Pattee can help you.

I’m done multi-tasking.  Back to focused viewing...

*****Addition after I finished viewing*******

Ms. Pattee talked about “secret classics” in fiction-- books you need to make sure you have and don’t weed.  She suggested looking at the Margaret E. Edwards winners for lifetime achievement to teen readers as the place to start identifying classics for teens.  But then in the Q and A I saw someone mention that they pull out classics and put them on a separate shelf for teens.

Interestingly, I just saw this in action at the Youth Department of the Oak Park Public Library and thought it was a neat idea for kids, never thinking it applied to my work.  Well, now I see that it does. I think that would work VERY well in the BPL Teen room. I am going to bring it up soon.

The idea behind doing this is to have a place where parents and teens can go to find the best of the old stuff, but it also means you have more of a current collection in the larger mass of teen fiction. The smaller the collection, the easier it is for anyone to browse.  Teens will have better luck helping themselves is they know the classics are on one shelf and all the rest is the more current popular reads.  You will have a leaner and more dynamic collection for them to browse. And, although we love to help them find their next great read, they are always going to prefer to help themselves.  I am committed to do anything I can to help them in the manner they want to be helped. Are you?

So along with the very practical weeding and collection development advice I got today, I also have a concrete idea about making our browsing collection more useful. Hour well spent.

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