Why Should We Still Purchase Nonfiction?

In an era where every library dollar needs to be justified, should teen services departments continue purchasing nonfiction?

YA librarians are in the perfect matrix to consider this question: patrons aren’t bringing their reference questions to library staff, teachers aren’t asking students to cite print sources, information discovery on the web is incredibly easy, and personal web access is growing ubiquitous. Continue reading Why Should We Still Purchase Nonfiction?

What Does It’s OK to Read YA Mean to YA Collection Development?

question mark made out of puzzle piecesI have to tell you, I’m nervous about the state of YA collection development. Why? Because I worry that teen collections may transition from collections for teens who read YA to collections for adults who love reading YA. Don’t get me wrong, I am a reader of YA and I know that that reading can be just as good, if not better, than adult book reading. But, yet, I don’t think my library’s YA collection should be filled with the YA that I want to read if teens don’t also want to read it. And that’s why I worry. There is so much talk of late about adults reading YA and why that’s OK that I begin to wonder, who are we building YA collections for? The adults who love YA or the teens who are simply looking for a good book to read?

My take is that we always build for the teens. If adults want to read YA titles that aren’t popular with teens in the community, then those titles should go in the adult collection and be a part of the adult collection purchasing budget. Those serving teens often have to struggle with budgets as it is. So, if they are buying books for adults that read teen AND teens that read teen how are they going to have enough money to do both? They won’t. The teen collection is the teen collection. That’s the priority. That’s who teen library staff serve. That’s the bottom line. Continue reading What Does It’s OK to Read YA Mean to YA Collection Development?

App of the Week: Art Authority

Title: Art Authority
Cost: $4.99
Platform: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 3.0 or later

I think a lot about how apps can extend the collection for teens or even replace materials on teen shelves. If you have art books in your teen collection, Art Authority provides new options for what you provide teens on the topic of art and art history. The screencast below gives you a view of how the app works and its benefits to teens.

For more App of The Week posts, visit the App of the Week Archive.

Weeding Made Easier

If the joy of collection development is purchasing, then its horror must be weeding.’  As a book lover and person whose daily work is to develop the love of reading in others, I, like many librarians, am emotionally connected to the books in my collection.’  That emotional connection makes weeding excruciating.’  Continue reading Weeding Made Easier

30 Days of How-To #7: Collection Development on the Fly

HOW TO: Collection Development on the Fly

It’s time for that little bit of money to be spent and quickly or it will be spent by someone else. You haven’t had any time to work on an order and you don’t want to make a mistake. Look to the lists below to help you find all kinds of exciting books, DVDs, and audio books that should be in your library.

Every title on every YA list will not be automatically suitable for your collection. To double-check yourself, when you add a title to your order list, you can quickly skim the reviews provided by your jobber to see if an item matches your needs. Look to the sections for older readers in the children’s lists for other titles, especially if you serve middle school age.

YALSA Best Books for Young Adults
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens
YALSA Printz Award and Honor Books
YALSA Amazing Audios for Young Adults
YALSA Fabulous Films for Young Adults
YALSA/ALSC Odyssey Award

ALSC Notable Children’s Books
ALSC Notable Children’s Videos
ALSC Notable Children’s Recordings
ALSC Newbery Award and Honor Books
ALSC Sibert Informational Book Medal and Honor Books

Projects of the Children’s Book Council in collaboration with ALA and other professional organizations:
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12

App of the Week: Bluefire Reader

Title: Bluefire Reader
Platform:
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch with OS 3.0 or higher
Android app is coming soon!!’ According to’ MediaBistro‘ AND’ Bluefire Facebook page‘ ‘ ‘ 
Cost: Free!

As a school librarian, summer is one of my favorite times to catch up on professional development and read as much as possible. This year I was lucky enough to attend ALA Annual (post on this coming soon) where I was showered with galley after galley of upcoming summer, fall and even winter titles. I left New Orleans with an entire extra suitcase full of finds.

Only occasionally during my rounds through the exhibit hall was I reminded of the great service NetGalley, which allows “professional readers” ‘ (i.e. librarians and other’ eligible persons) access to DRM and DRM-free Galleys of upcoming titles.

The list of publishers in NetGalley’s arsenal is long, and I’ve found out about many great titles through this service. ‘ I turned a few books down when I discovered they were on NetGalley…less to carry.

Upon my return from ALA, I learned that the iPads we ordered for the coming school year were in, so I picked one up with plans to try it out. I’ve put several different reading devices on the iPad; Kindle, Copia, Stanza, Bluefire have all been added, to name a few.

All are free apps, and all have their benefits,* but I’m highlighting Bluefire for a few reasons: Continue reading App of the Week: Bluefire Reader

Transparency – Key to Great Teen Services

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about transparency in teen services. Partly I’ve been thinking about it because I’m preparing for a YALSA Institute on advocacy and teen services. In my preparations it’s become more and more clear that without being transparent about what teen librarians do every day in order to serve teens effectively, it’s not possible to advocate for the value of teen services.

For example: If items are purchased for a teen collection and the teen librarian is a bit uncomfortable about how adults in the community will react to the items, then sometimes a teen librarian will hide the items away on the shelves, not displaying them or mentioning them to colleagues, administration or adults in the community, but hoping that teens with an interest will find them. Continue reading Transparency – Key to Great Teen Services

Point/Counter-Point Hot Topics in Teen Services: How Far to Go With e Collections?

Welcome to YALSA”s first in an occasional series in which two bloggers debate a topic of current interest to librarians serving teens.

In this first post YALSA Blog Manager and High School Librarian, mk Eagle, and YALSA Immediate Past President and Educational Technology Consultant, Linda W. Braun, talk e-collections.

Linda Says, “Go Heavy into e – It will Be Freeing”

Think About the Time You’ll Have
A lot of what I hear when I work with librarians in schools and public libraries is “I don’t have the time.” People say, “ I don’t have the time to keep up with technology, books, programs, teen news and trends.” You name it, librarians are telling me they don’t have the time. Why not? Continue reading Point/Counter-Point Hot Topics in Teen Services: How Far to Go With e Collections?

30 Days of Back to School: The Challenge of Intellectual Freedom

“They say there is strangeness too dangerous in our theaters and bookstore shelves…Those who know what’s best for us must rise and save us from ourselves…” – from “Witch Hunt” by Rush

Yes folks, it’s September, and that means two things are certain:’  students are back in school, and potential censors and book challengers are coming out of the woodwork.’  Recent challenges to Sherman Alexie’s “Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” and Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Speak”‘  were just the first to greet the new school year.’  Interestingly enough, this last week of September is Banned Books Week, and therefore the perfect time think about the potential for censorship, and whether you’re ready for that challenge if it comes your way. Continue reading 30 Days of Back to School: The Challenge of Intellectual Freedom

30 Days of Back to School: Teen Book Recommendations

As much as I’d love to read every book in my collection, it’s not a particularly realistic goal–nor is reading every forthcoming young adult book. Like all teen librarians, I have to pick and choose, and I often rely heavily on other people’s reviews and recommendations when it comes to collection development.

I’ve been pretty pleased with the success of my fiction choices, but every once in a while I buy something that looks great to me, but never leaves the shelf.

So how do you find the instant hits?

Continue reading 30 Days of Back to School: Teen Book Recommendations