[kids-lib] Historical Children's Literature Collections

Taylor Worley taylorlgkw at gmail.com
Sat Mar 27 17:52:43 PDT 2021

Hi folks,

We are workshopping creating a Historical Children's Literature collection
at my library. We feel like we need to keep a copy of certain books
(Gulliver's Travels, Little House series, Mulberry Street, etc.) on hand
because of demand, and because we can learn from them. However, these
titles have a variety of problems, the primary of which are that they may
have very problematic representations of humans and ideas that are
generally agreed upon to be inaccurate/offensive, and they no longer fit
into the current landscape of children's literature/kit lit.

We're trying to figure out the following:

   - Where and how to catalog them.
      - Right now we're leaning towards the Dewey classification (which of
      course is problematic in itself) 800's area for literature.
However, bumps
      in this plan include copies in Braille, translations, etc.
      - If we create a separate space called "Historical Children's
      Literature", how do we ensure that we are not, in fact,
highlighting these
      books? Would putting them in their own collection, even if we don't put
      them on display or on booklists, inadvertently elevate their status?
      - Do other libraries/organizations have collections like this? If so,
   does the organization have established parameters for the collection that
   they can share?
   - When these books fall apart, do we replace them? This is most likely a
   case-by-case basis, but demand for some of the titles will naturally last
   much longer than others and availability will vary greatly.

We want to change the context of these books and create the opportunity to
chat with our patrons about these titles. We know this doesn't eliminate
harmful representations from our literature, but it does feel like a good
marriage of our (slowly) growing society while still providing access to
materials that folks want and request.

We are very open to ideas, feedback, critique, anything that folks are
willing to provide. It's possible we're way off mark in this approach as
well. Thank you in advance for your time and responses.

*Taylor Worley                                                 *Youth
Services Librarian
Springfield Public Library
225 5th Street
Springfield, OR 97422
541.726.2243 (direct)
taylorlgkw at gmail.com
tworley at springfield-or.gov
*"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and
stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." -A. A. Milne*
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