Developing a Juvenile Literature Collection in an Academic Library

Developing a Juvenile Literature Collection in an Academic Library

Todd Shipman (Auburn University, USA), Greg Schmidt (Auburn University, USA) and Susan Bannon (Auburn University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1897-8.ch013
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Maintaining a juvenile collection in a university setting requires a careful consideration of both the juvenile materials market and the academic uses of juvenile materials. Because juvenile materials can range from pre-reader items to young adult literature and may exist in different locations and under different authorities within the academy, juvenile collection management can be a complex task. The purpose of this chapter is to serve as a guide to collection managers charged with developing and maintaining a juvenile collection for use by professional programs in education and librarianship. Discussions on the nature and uses of juvenile materials in the academy, collection policies, and evaluation strategies for juvenile collections, selection tools, and resources available to librarians, and emerging issues in juvenile collection management are included.
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In the field of education, both K-12 educators and school librarians are expected to be well acquainted with juvenile literature, including its interpretation and effective use in teaching and reading for personal enjoyment. While juvenile literature and materials are usually associated with public and school libraries, professional programs in the university often include courses that require students to evaluate and incorporate juvenile literature into their projects and assignments. In professional programs for school librarianship where entire courses are built around juvenile literature and media, the need for the university to provide a comprehensive juvenile collection is even greater. Librarians charged with developing juvenile collections must consider not only the professional programs, which may require use of the materials, but also the tools and vendors needed to successfully maintain a relevant juvenile collection. The charge of managing a juvenile collection can appear to be a daunting task for academic librarians who may not have taken children’s literature courses in expectation of collecting juvenile materials for their college or university. However, given the right tools and a good amount of determination, academic librarians may develop their knowledge and skills to become quite successful as juvenile literature librarians (Hirsch, 2006).

This chapter provides a brief review of: the need for juvenile literature collections in academic libraries, the nature of juvenile collections and their role in the academy, the establishment of collection development policies to meet the needs of educators and librarians, workable collection evaluation measures, selection tools and resources available to juvenile collection managers, and current issues in juvenile materials. After reading this chapter, academic librarians charged with developing and maintaining juvenile collections will be able to advocate for these collections and effectively manage them.

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