[OYAN] Responses re: YA Non-Fiction Collections - Scope, Policies, Philosophies

Kemper Hodge, Kristy Kristy.KemperHodge at corvallisoregon.gov
Thu Sep 25 09:32:34 PDT 2014


Thank you tons for those of you who sent me very thorough responses about developing YA non-fiction collections and what kind of scope your collections cover, collection development philosophies, etc. The responses were great and I wanted to share some of the key points with everyone, in case this info could help another librarian!

-       Some libraries are selecting research-oriented non-fiction for the adult and juvenile non-fiction collections, and using the YA non-fiction for health and wellness (sex, drugs, etc), and popular interest titles. However, these libraries might also be shifting the focus of their YA non-fiction collections to be more curriculum-oriented with the move to Common Core.
o       One library is looking for more "informative texts" as they are called in Common Core language, including titles that address different historical periods, social movements, and teen-friendly biographies.
-       Other librarians commented that research-topic books tend not to move much from the shelves of the YA non-fiction section. One librarian stated that he does collect the following, though:
o       Books on current controversies
o       Research-related books on staple topics, such as World War II, the founding of the US, etc
o       Good historical books with teen appeal, such as Steve Sheinkin's Bomb: The Race to Build...
o       It was pretty unanimous that, rather than investing in large, general non-fiction books/series about research-related topics, looking for books with genuine teen appeal or with perennial interest are a better investment
-       Several librarians commented that the following kinds of books are both important to have in a YA non-fiction collection and/or get a lot of use by teens:
o       Health and wellness topics, like information about drugs, abuse, pregnancy, divorce, including real personal narratives
o       College and test prep books - with weeding to keep them current
o       Research books/lit crit books on commonly-assigned topics and classics taught in local schools
o       Books about comics, graphic novels, popular movies, and current entertainment
o       Video game guides and gaming books, quirky craft books, drawing books (especially for comics and manga-style drawing), dating and personal appearance books, books about the paranormal

Again, a HUGE thank you to the librarians who took the time to reply and share your knowledge and expertise with me! If anyone has further insight/ideas, please feel free to send it along at any time.


Kristy Kemper Hodge
Youth Services Librarian

Corvallis-Benton County Public Library<http://www.thebestlibrary.net/>
645 NW Monroe Ave.
Corvallis, OR 97330
(541) 766-6489
Kristy.KemperHodge at corvallisoregon.gov<mailto:bonnie.brzozowski at corvallisoregon.gov>

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