Magazines are becoming a thing of the past as many article focused publications move online. However this leaves out the teens who want to come into the library to browse, it becomes time to submit our requests for next years magazines. At my library no one before me focused a lot of energy on the Teen magazine collection, which has made my job this year to diversify the topics and weed out the under used magazines.’  My deadline for turning in requests is August 1st, and while I’m putting the finishing touches on my order I thought I’d share the resources I used to help me select my magazines this coming year:

1. Ask the Teens- One of the first things I did was set out a survey in the magazine area asking the teens what magazines they love, and if there were any magazines we don’t have that are must read. I also brought the survey into one of my teen programs asking the teens for their feedback about the magazines. I didn’t order everything they asked for but I chose titles that we didn’t have anything similar to including a jRock magazine my Anime lovers wanted.

2. Circulation- Our highest circulating magazines just happen to be the gaming and fashion ones. To help broaden the collection last year I added a few test titles to compare which was more popular within a topic.’  In July, I looked at each magazines Year to date circulation and compared each titles six month of circulation by topic. (For example I compared the stats of Game Informer, Game Pro, and EGM to each other while’  comparing Ignite Your Faith with Breakaway and Brio & Beyond)

3. In-House Use – Over the year, I keep an eye on which magazines were commonly left out on the tables by teens and didn’t put those on the chopping block.

4. VOYA- In the February 2008 and December 2007 Issues of Voya they had two excellent articles on magazines for teens that I used as a reference for balancing my collections.

5. Other libraries – Lastly I asked what the libraries around me were collecting to see if there were any titles I’d completely missed. There have been a few threads on YALSA-BK about the topic of magazines I pulled from as well.

What I found is that the teens want to have pocket size information they can’t get elsewhere. They don’t want the magazines all of their friends subscribe to, but the expensive ones that are from Japan, focus on small specialized topics, and relate directly to them. They want to know what is coming out soon not what is already out, and it showed in what they asked for as well as what they used.

I look forward to getting the new magazines in January and freshening up our magazine collection. However my job is never done, and I anticipate having to do this whole process over again next summer.

Does anyone else have useful tips for New Librarians managing a Magazine collection?

About Jami Schwarzwalder

Currently a teen librarian with the Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, WA.She is passionate about technology, making, and learning. See what I'm up to at

One Thought on “Teen Magazines

  1. I think that you have done a really good job at trying to decide what should be in your library for teen magazines. It is quite sad how these magazines are starting to fade away and internet content is the way to view your content. Miss the good ol’ days.

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