The YA collection is one that demands regular attention.
Displays must be interesting, timely, and change often. Special “featured” collections draw attention, but must not reflect “children’s” displays. Your teen advisory board or teen volunteers can be especially helpful in this area. Engage them in creating displays or choosing books to be featured to their peers.
Developing relationships with local organizations or stores can provide you with interesting materials or items to enhance your displays. For example, a framed collector’s edition comic book and superhero figures from the local comic store would be very appealing amidst a comic or graphic novel display, or a variety of sports gear on loan from the area sports store would compliment a sports novel or athletic biography display.
If your library has a display case, local connections such as these can provide very attractive rotating collections on a monthly basis. In a school setting, teachers can be a good source of display materials, and book displays can reflect and expand upon current areas of study.
This is perhaps the most fluid collection in the building, that is, materials contained within the YA section must remain current, popular, and vital. Weeding must be performed regularly and mercilessly. Any dated materials found on your shelves by a YA will reflect poorly on the library. For example, a book on Boyz II Men currently on the shelf is a clear signal that your library is out of touch with contemporary music stars.
Your library’s mission and your collection development policy guide all collection development practices, and that includes weeding.
To review some principles of weeding:
Weeding is generally conducted to serve the following functions:
Weeding candidates include:
If you have already taken the ABLE Weeding course, you will remember the acronym MUSTIE:
M= Misleading--factually inaccurate
U= Ugly--worn beyond mending or rebinding
S= Superceded--by a new edition of by a much better book on subject
T= Trivial--of no discernible literary or scientific merit
I= Irrelevant to the needs and interests of the library's community
E= Elsewhere--the material is easily obtainable from another library
While the same general criteria apply, the young adult collection unlike most others is one where, as Patrick Jones states, “Every book needs to earn its place on the shelf because it does circulate, not because it should. Either it moves, or it moves off the shelf.”
The ONLY exceptions to this rule are books on sexual development. These are very important resources for YAs. They are used quite heavily in the library but more often then not young adults are too timid to be seen checking them out or too intimidated by parents to bring them home. You know this to be true because you often find them stashed behind the adult biographies or under the stack of old newspapers…
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