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Collection Analysis: Printz Award Part 2

Collection Analysis: Printz Award Part 2

Okay, so part 2 is all about the Branch. (Check out Part 1) This is my middle class, heavy reader community and I think the stats easily show that. Before I say anything more I want to give full disclosure, my list only includes books that are currently in the Teen Area at the Branch. I  have included copies that have recently gone into missing, lost, or withdrawn because most had circulated in the past 8 months (we switched systems end of June) and I wanted their numbers to still count.

The following titles are located in JUV, meaning they were not added into my list. I may reevaluate some of these titles and move them to teen, but for now they are not part of my data.

Skellig by David Almond
Kit’s Wildnerness by David Almond
Many Stones by Carolyn Coman
Heart to Heart by Jan Greenberg
Hole in my Life by Jacke Gantos
John Lennon: All I want is the Truth by Elizabeth Patridge
A Wreath for Emmit Till by Marilyn Nelson
Charles and Emma by Debra Heiligman

There were also a couple of titles that should be in teen, but are not owned by the Branch (although they are by our Main Library)

Dreamquake : book two of the Dreamhunter duet by Elizabeth Knox
Punkzilla by Adam Rapp
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster boy by Gary D. Schmidt
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
The Returning by Christine Hinwood

 I also only have Code Name Verity and Dodger already ordered from this year’s list.

Okay, so what I learned. Where most books at the Main Library where sitting at an average of 3 circs, my Branch is at 5 circs or more. In fact, while the Main Library has 27 titles with 2 or less average circulations the Branch only has 7! That’s a huge difference. Again, Why We Broke Up is in first place. I don’t think I expected that one to be in top, but it makes sense since it’s one of the newer books and had a lot of buzz. It’s also interesting to see that Stolen, The Book ThiefScorpio Races, and Looking for Alaska were in the top 10 at both locations. I think that says something with 5 books stand out as leaders at two different locations. And while Code Name Verity isn’t in the top 10 at the Branch, it’s not that far behind. I’ll be interested to see if it jumps ranks this coming year.

There are still 11 titles that haven’t circ’d in the last 8 months. A little better than the Main Library, but it still makes me sad. Interestingly enough, the only overlap in titles between the two locations are Black JuiceMy HeartbeatWhite Darkness, and The Ropemaker. I am surprised at how well Octavian Nothing is doing. I feel like that one is always on the shelf, but seeing that it had 5 check-outs in the past 8 months proves otherwise. However, I am curious why they’re not continuing on to the sequel as that has one had 1 check-out recently and has half the circulation that book one does. I may not be too far off on thinking this one doesn’t have high appeal with my teens, but at least they’re trying it out.

Again, there is no surprise in which titles have staying power and which do not. Those titles are almost exactly the same at both locations. However, being a John Green fan girl, I am pleased to see both Abundance of Katherines and Looking for Alaska are doing well. I don’t do storage at the Branch, but I really don’t see any titles that will be withdrawn in the coming months. There are a couple I need to get back into the spotlight, but besides the few that have already been pulled the rest are doing well enough. As with the Main Library there are a couple of titles I need to order replacements for and maybe even additional copies. All in all, I’m very pleased to see the Printz Award titles doing so well at the Branch. The numbers at both locations really have given me a new perspective on the award and appeal, especially since I booktalk about very few of these titles. This is something I do plan to change in the future; I’m going to encourage my co-workers to read some of the titles on the list and creating a display around the winner/honors.

Below is all the data I collected. The tables are sortable if you wish to look at them in different orders. If you have any question/think I might have left something out just leave a comment. I realize this may really only be fascinating to me, but I would still love to hear other’s thoughts/have a discussion. I also plan on doing the same thing for the Morris Award, which should be posted next week.

Why We Broke UpHandler, Daniel1191119191yr
StolenChristopher, Lucylost36018182yrs
The Book ThiefZusak, Marcus3, 1 lost2612560156yrs
Looking for AlaskaGreen, John1, 1 lost1191624125yrs
I am the MessengerZusak, Marcus21201122117yrs
Ship BreakerBacigalupi, Paolo2321222112yrs
The Scorpio RacesStiefvater, Maggie3311131101yr
Where Things Come BackWhaley, John Corey1, 1 lost201020101yr
Hard LoveWittlinger, Ellen11311101013yrs
The Body of Christopher CreedPlum-Ucci, Carol1 lost (as of 10/12)341994 yrs
Please ignore Vera DietzKing, A.S.190991yr
Jasper JonesSilvey, Craig193991yr
Code Name VerityWein, Elizabeth19899less 1yr
Angus, Thongs, & Full Frontal SnoggingRennison, Louise21378178.58 years
The First Part LastJohnson, Angela1, 1 withdrawn1325178.58yrs
Going BovineBray, Libba1, 1 withdrawn524178.53yrs
SpeakAnderson, Laurie Halse6, 2 withdrawn2881048810yrs
An Abundances of KatherinesGreen, John296161686yrs
The disreputable history of Frankie Landau-Banks : a novelLockhart, E1305884yrs
DodgerPratchett, Terry18888less 1yr
The House of the ScorpionFarmer, Nancy1, 1 lost1037157.510yrs
A Northern LightDonnelly, Jennifer1467668yrs
The MonstrumologistYancey, Richard1171663yrs
Stuck in NeutralTrueman, Terry2475115.55yrs
How I live nowRosoff, Meg1432558yrs
RepossessedJenkins, A.M1250555yrs
NationPratchett, Terry1216554yrs
RevolverSedgwick, Marcus190552yrs
Black JuiceLanagan, Margowithdrawn, last circ 2010250447yrs
The astonishing life of Octavian Nothing, traitor to the nation. 1 The pox partyAnderson, M.T.1245446yrs
SurrenderHartnett, Sonya1191445yrs
Tales of the Madman UndergroundBarnes, John1121443yrs
American Born ChineseYang, Gene1222445yrs
My HeartbeatFreymann-Weyr, Garret13503.53.510yrs
MonsterMyers, Walter Dean6, 3 lost/missing11562638yrs
FreewillLynch, Chris26446310yrs
Fat Kid Rules the WorldGoing, K.L.1, 1 withdrawn470638yrs
A Step From HeavenNa, An26226310yrs
Keesha's HouseFrost, Helenwithdrawn, last circ 2011230338yrs
White DarknessMcCaughrean, Geraldine.1140335yrs
One whole and perfect dayClarke, Judithwithdrawn161335yrs
Jellicoe RoadMarchetta, Melina1133334yrs
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II, The Kingdom on the WavesAnderson, M.T.1131334yrs
Chanda's SecretsStratton, Allan1151237yrs
Tender MorselsLanagan, Margo192224yrs
Your Own SylviaHemphill, Stephanie1120227yrs
The RopemakerDickison, Peter1 withdrawn, last circ 20111101210yrs
True BelieverWolff, Virginia E1 withdrawn1201111yrs
Postcards from Noman's LandChambers, Aidan1 withdrawn1011110yrs

Collection Analysis: Printz Award Part 1

Collection Analysis: Printz Award Part 1

There has been a lot of talk about Book Award winners and if they have teen appeal, if they circulate, etc. While I understand both sides and have debated it a little on my own, that’s not really what I want to talk about here. Instead, I just want to look at hard-cold facts. How are my award winners doing? Which have had staying power and which have not according to stats? (Also, I apologize in advance because I really, really like stats!)

Originally, I was going to do this in one post, but it was getting rather long. Instead I’ll do one post for Main and one post for my Branch. They’re vastly different communities so I don’t mind thinking of them differently/splitting the post.

For full disclosure, my list only includes books that are currently in the Teen Area at the Main Library. I have cut out any titles that are located in storage but have not circulated in the past two years. These are usually extra copies due to schools using them for projects or when demand was super high. The only exception to this rule is if it was our only copy. I have starred these copies for reference. Also, I included copies that have recently gone into missing, lost, or withdrawn because most had circulated in the past 8 months (we switched systems end of June) and I wanted their numbers to still count.

The following titles are located in JUV, meaning they were not added into my list. I may reevaluate some of these titles and move them to teen, but for now they are not part of my data.

Skellig by David Almond
Kit’s Wildnerness by David Almond
Many Stones by Carolyn Coman
A Step From Heavean by An Na
Heart to Heart by Jan Greenberg
Hole in my Life by Jacke Gantos
John Lennon: All I want is the Truth by Elizabeth Patridge
A Wreath for Emmit Till by Marilyn Nelson
Your Own, Sylvia by Stephanie Hemphill
Charles and Emma by Debra Heiligman

There were also a couple of titles that should be in teen, but are not owned by the Main Library (although they are by our Branch)

True Believer  by Wolff, Virginia E
Surrender by Hartnett, Sonya
One whole and perfect day by  Clarke, Judith
Repossessed by Jenkins, A.M

Okay, so what did I learn? When looking at the average circs per year most of the titles are sitting at 3 or higher. While this isn’t amazing it is decent, especially since this is my low-reading community. I love seeing that top two are honor winners from last year. Now, I fully expect this to change since they’ve only been in circulation for a year, but it was great to see how popular they were. Also, I love that Code Name Verity is also in the top 10. It’ll be interesting to look at the numbers next year and see if this year’s winners shift in place (which I’m fully expecting). The only title I don’t already own that won this year is White Bicycle.

I am a little sad that 16 titles haven’t circ’d at all in the past 8 months, but looking over the titles the only one that surprises me is American Born Chinese. GNs are highly popular in my area, but I’m hoping it was just getting lost in the mix and that the new GN organization will help it be rediscovered. As for those that have had staying power, there wasn’t much of a surprise there either. I fully expected to see Speak, House of Scorpion, and The Book Thief at the top of the list. I also expected Monster be low on the list as his books just don’t move like they use to. Teens are picking up other “urban” lit and just aren’t as interested in Walter Dean Myers no matter how hard I try.

I do have a feeling that there will be some books moving to storage in the next year or so. I’ll do a display and see if I can get some to move, but I can’t justify leaving a book that circulation 1 time or less a year on the shelf, even if it is an award winner. However, the nice thing about storage is that the books are housed in movable shelving and are still available for patron check-out. I also like that this projected pointed out some books that went missing/lost that I need to reorder asap. And a couple that I may want to looking into possibly ordering more copies of.

Below is all the data I collected. The tables are sortable if you wish to look at them in different orders. If you have any question/think I might have left something out just leave a comment. I realize this may really only be fascinating to me, but I would still love to hear other’s thoughts/have a discussion. And just as an FYI, I’ll have part two up tomorrow!


Why We Broke UpHandler, Daniel114514141yr
The Scorpio RacesStiefvater, Maggie113313131yr
The Book ThiefZusak, Marcus416329389.56yrs
SpeakAnderson, Laurie Halse111759913yrs
StolenChristopher, Lucywithdrawn162882yrs
The ReturningHinwood, Christine183881yr
Code Name VerityWein, Elizabeth18888less 1yr
The House of the ScorpionFarmer, Nancy41727225.510yrs
An Abundances of KatherinesGreen, John22971053yrs
Looking for AlaskaGreen, John2, 1 missing76151347yrs
The Body of Christopher CreedPlum-Ucci, Carol365511412yrs
Stuck in NeutralTrueman, Terry26548410yrs
Hard LoveWittlinger, Ellen.lost4304410yrs
The MonstrumologistYancey, Richard2253843yrs
Ship BreakerBacigalupi, Paolo182442yrs
NothingTeller, Jane183442yrs
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Round ThingsMackler, Carolyn1, 1 withdrawn55173.58yrs
The First Part LastJohnson, Angela2342638yrs
I am the MessengerZusak, Marcus1237337yrs
Jellicoe RoadMarchetta, Melina1, missing190634yrs
The astonishing life of Octavian Nothing, traitor to the nation. 1 The pox partyAnderson, M.T.1160336yrs
A Northern LightDonnelly, Jennifer180333yrs
In DarknessLake, Nick133331yr
MonsterMyers, Walter Dean47847212yrs
American Born ChineseYang, Gene4480926 yrs
How I live nowRosoff, Meg2241428yrs
Going BovineBray, Libba2, missing203723yrs
The disreputable history of Frankie Landau-Banks : a novelLockhart, E3190524yrs
Fat Kid Rules the WorldGoing, K.L.1151229yrs
RevolverSedgwick, Marcuslost51222yrs
Please ignore Vera DietzKing, A.S.141222yrs
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster boySchmidt, Gary D.29631.53yrs
Tales of the Madman UndergroundBarnes, John19031.53yrs
Tender Morsels*Lanagan, Margo1601.51.54yrs
NationPratchett, Terry1601.51.54yrs
Where Things Come BackWhaley, John Corey25331.52yrs
FreewillLynch, Chris11001111yrs
AirbornOppel, Kennethlost103118yrs
Chanda's SecretsStratton, Allan191118yrs
White DarknessMcCaughrean, Geraldine.140113yrs
Punkzilla*Rapp, Adam140113yrs
Jasper JonesSilvey, Craig110111yr
Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universeSaenz, Benjamin Alire11111less 1yr
DodgerPratchett, Terry11111less 1yr
My HeartbeatFreymann-Weyr, Garret1700.70.710yrs
The Ropemaker*Dickison, Peter1600.50.511yrs
Keesha's HouseFrost, Helen1510.50.59yrs
Postcards from No Man's Land*Chambers, Aidan1300.30.310yrs
Black Juice*Lanagan, Margo1100.10.17yrs
Dreamquake : book two of the Dreamhunter duetKnox, Elizabethwithdrawn00005yrs
To Weed or Not to Weed

To Weed or Not to Weed

One of my (many) goals this year is do massive weeding at both of my locations. This means I physically take each book off the shelf and evaluate it. Condition is one factor that comes into play, but mainly I’m looking to see how often it has circulated and when the last time it was checked out. I’ve done non-circ lists in the past, but have noticed many books are missed. Sometimes this is due to improper cataloging or occasionally the book has been marked missing/lost. While this is highly time consuming, so far it has been worth it. Not only for the space it has restored (seriously, I wish I had taken before and after pictures), but also because it has allowed me to discover books that have gone missing completely.

I will admit that some books have gone down into our storage areas, but they are mainly classics, multiple copies, or books myself or my boss think should stay in the collection. The ratio, on average, has been 2:1 in the delete vs. storage. All in all, not too bad.

Of course, the downside of touching every book, is I come across ones that may deserve to be saved. Sometimes there are books that just slip through the cracks. Books that are amazing, but no one really discovers them. I decided that books I questioned, I should take home to evaluate. The only problem? A few books quickly turned into 60! While not all of them are in my house, I have created a list of books I need to look over. I’ve been sidetracked a little more than I wanted these past few months, but I’m finally back into a place where I can start tackling the pile.

As I’ve started to read and evaluate the books I thought my process would make a great series of posts; a way to share my insights if books have future shelf life or not. Of course, it will also offer insight to things that librarians have to think about when looking at books. And who knows, maybe someone will discover a great book along the way. So, without further ado, here are my first set of books.

The Girlfriend Project
The Girlfriend Project
 by Robin Friedman
Published: March 2007
Pages: 180

Summary: Reed has gone from super geek to major hotty. Girls who wouldn’t have given him the time of day are now throwing themselves at him. Of course, just because his looks have changed doesn’t mean his personality has. He is still his super geeky self that has no clue how to talk to girls. But with a little help from his friends and a website, he may just get everything he has wished for.

Why it made the evaluate list:
There are plenty of stories of girls struggling with love, but I feel like the boy-love ones fall off the radar. I was hoping this would be a good read-a-like for Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto.

Verdict: WEED. While it was a fast read the story was only so-so. The message of “don’t judge a book by its cover” has been replayed over and over again. While it was nice to see it from a male’s perspective it ultimately fell flat. The “romances” weren’t handled very well through the book and for most of it I was kind of bored. A couple of years ago, I may have felt different, but there are other books that do it much better.


Nothing Pink
Nothing Pink
by Mark Hardy
Published: November 2008
Pages: 109

Summary: Vincent has been praying for years that the Lord will perform a miracle and cure his gayness. As a son a Baptist pastor in the 70’s being a “sissy” boy is not an option. However, no matter what he does he can’t change whom he likes. When a relationship starts to form with Robert, a boy from his new church, Vincent is forced to come to term with his religion and sexuality.

Why it made the evaluate list:
I’m always, always, always looking for LGBTQ fiction. Books that I can highlight for those teens that may be struggling with who they are and who they love. I had never heard of this book and hoped it would be a new one to add to my lists.  

Verdict: WEED. I had to think long and hard about this one. I even discussed it out with a fellow Teen Services Librarian to get her thoughts about it. Ultimately, it’s downfall is the length of the book. Not much can really be done in barely over a 100 pages. I never felt like the depth was really there and it definitely had a few major flaws. Again, this is one of those that would have been groundbreaking in 2008, but in 2012 others have done it better.


I promise not all of the books will be weed. Or rather I hope not. Be sure to watch out for future posts as I continue to unbury myself from theses books.

Teen Non-Fic: Drug Resources

Teen Non-Fic: Drug Resources

[This is part of an on-going series about teen non-fiction and updating that collection. Previous posts can be found here, here, here, and here.]

I came across this series while doing my weeding in the non-fic:

The Drug Abuse Prevention Library.
Published by Rosen; between 1991 and 2003.

No. Just no! Do you see those covers? Do you see the publication dates? Why was this on my shelves?

Well, these books *circulated!* Average circulation was between 10-20 times since purchase, which is pretty large for a such an overgrown and hard to wade through non-fiction collection.

And they were incredibly relevant when published. To replace them has been a natural part of library collection management. Here’s what I bought to replace them:

Drug Abuse and Society.
Published by Rosen; between 2007 and 2009.

While I’m not sure about the covers and teen appeal; at least these books won’t heavily date based on the cover. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Date Rate and Drugs boy.) I liked that this series was another 64 page series, just like the Drug Abuse Prevention Library. Most of my teens want quick information bits and this series definitely filled that need.


Published by Benchmark Books; between 2005 and 2007.

These books might already be a little information dated, but I loved the format. We had a few of them already and I filled out the series with any available volumes. Our copy focusing on marijuana has circulated 19 times in the past two years.

Any other suggestions for me? Let me know in the comments!

Teen Non-Fiction: Green Resources

Teen Non-Fiction: Green Resources

[This is part of an on-going series about teen non-fiction and updating that collection. Previous posts can be found here, here, and here.]

One thing is abundantly clear when you’re weeding non-fiction — if it’s wrong, it doesn’t belong. Let me just say that this was literally an “OH MY, WHY IS THIS HERE?” moment:

Title: Earth At Risk: Global Warming
Author: Burkhard Bilger
Publication Date: 1992
Series Includes: Acid Rain, Alternative Sources of Energy, Animal Welfare, The Automobile and the Environment, Clean Air, Clean Water, Degradation of the Land, Economics and the Environment, Endangered Species, The Environment and the Law, Environmental Action Groups, Environmental Disasters, Extinction, Floods, The Fragile Earth, Global Warming, The Living Ocean, Nuclear Energy/Nuclear Waste, Overpopulation, The Ozone Layer, The Rainforest, Recycling, Solar Energy, Toxic Materials, What You Can Do For the Environment, Wilderness Preservation

This must have been a fine resource back in the day; Chelsea House Publishing puts out a lot of quality non-fiction for teens and I know that their books are to be trusted. But, on a topic like global warming…we’ve certainly come a long way since 1992.

Nineteen libraries in my system still have this on their shelves though (and that’s only this volume)! Allow me to suggest some alternatives:

These books range from the academic, personal, and even crafts.

An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore (9780670062713), 2007.

Generation Green by Linda Sivertsen (9781416961222), 2008.

Girls Gone Green by Lynn Hirshfield (9781448720095), 2010.

Global Warming : Opposing Viewpoints by Cynthia A. Bily (073772935X), 2006.

The Green Teen by Jenn Savedge (9780865716490), 2009.

Recyclo-Gami : 40 crafts to make your friends green with envy! by Laurie Goldrich Wolf (9780762440528), 2010.

Have you found some excellent current resources about going green, global warming, and other “Earth at Risk” topics? Lemme know in the comments!

Teen Non-Fic: “Everything You Need to Know About…”

Teen Non-Fic: “Everything You Need to Know About…”

First of all, let me say that weeding decisions are ultimately left up to me at my library for any youth books. Also, we do not have a board-approved collection development policy. (I know, I know, I know. I tried to have one approved and was pretty much scoffed at.)

Borrowing pretty heavily from the CREW method, here’s why I weed:

  • Poor Content — This can mean books that are inaccurate, poorly written, outdated, or biased materials.
  • Gross (In the CREW manual, this is called “materials of poor appearance”.) — Anything that is gross needs to be replaced or pitched. This includes YA covers that look like they belong in the 80s.
  • Used — Books that haven’t moved in years!

I also weed based on community though. My teens do specific projects, need specific issue books, and have specific interests. Look to what your community needs and make sure to provide it as best you can!

So, here’s what I weeded last week from the “Everything You Need to Know About…” collection. I’ve included publication years and circulation records as reference points. [Most of these books fall into multiple categories; ie outdated and unused. Or inaccurate and gross.]

Books Weeded

Just want to run through a couple of the books weeded and how I came to that determination.

Title: Changing Schools, 1993
Circulation: Once // Owned Since: 1998
Why Did I Weed?: Circulation rate.
Replaced By: Nothing. I could not find anything that has been published since 1993/1992; this is not a large issue facing my community as most of my teens get tracked into one school and stay there all four years.

Title: Danger of Hazing, 1996
Circulation: Three times // Owned Since: 1998
Why Did I Weed?: Circulation rate; also this presents as a book largely dealing with college-aged problems. My library (and probably yours too) needs books specific to current problems with bullying, including cyberbullying.
Replaced By: Bullying and Hazing by Jill Hamilton, 2008; (We already own “We Want You To Know” by Deborah Ellis, 2010 and “FAQ About Cyberbullying” by Teri Brequet, 2007. Also, HarperTeen has a great anthology coming out in fall called “Dear Bully” — which is seventy YA authors writing about bully experiences.)

Title: Incest, 1992
Circulation: Five times // Owned Since: 1998
Why Did I Weed?: Inaccuracy; this is a topic that I didn’t want incorrect information out there. Particularly about obtaining help and what the law does.
Replaced By: How Long Does It Hurt?: A Guide to Recovering from Incest and Sexual Abuse for Teenagers, Their Friends, and Their Families by Cynthia Mather, 2004. We have a few other books in the J fic section about this topic; all of which have better circulation rates and are more current.

Title: Sexual Abuse, 1991
Circulation: Five times // Owned Since: 1998
Why Did I Weed? Inaccuracy! And a horrible cover. Also, omg, inaccuracy, batman!
Replaced By: Sexual Abuse by Marylee Floric, 2011

Title: Natural Disasters & Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 1996.
Circulation: Twice // Owned Since: 1998
Why Did I Weed? As psychological disorders have been updated, so should books. Most of the disorders in this volume have had treatment changes, classification changes, among others. Also, I can’t imagine having a natural disasters book that doesn’t discuss Hurricane Katerina, the 2004 tsunami, and the recent Japan earthquakes.
Replaced By: Anxiety disorders edited by Brian Kennedy, 2010. (We already own Omnigraphics’ “Mental Health Information for Teens”, 2010 which is a huge book that has multiple chapters about different kinds of mental health disorders, including PTSD.)

Title: Mehndi, 2000
Circulation: Seven times; two renewals // Owned Since: 2000
Why Did I Weed?: Based on gross; not inaccuracy or circulation rate. Pretty sure that someone spilled some henna ink on it.
Replaced By: I haven’t found something yet. However, I am looking for something to replace this! Maybe something that looks cooler/neater/more teen-friendly?

Title: Dyslexia, 1998
Circulation: Four times // Owned Since: 1998
Why Did I Weed?: Inaccuracy strikes again. This learning disability in particular has grown in awareness and treatment since the 90s. The book needed to be updated.
Replaced By: Learning Disabilities by Arthur Gillard, 2011 (We already own “Dyslexia” by Arda Darakjian Clark, 2005.)

That should give you a little window-look into how I tackled replacing some of those outdated, gross looking YA non-fiction books. I hope that this helps you in your weeding processes! Next time, I will probably talk about another series that I almost entirely weeded. (Either the “Coping With” series or the “Earth At Risk” series. The second one being a complete OMG-FACEPALM “why is this still here?” moment.)

Teen Non-Fiction Collection Update!

Teen Non-Fiction Collection Update!

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about starting to rebuild and revamp a teen non-fiction collection. (You can find it here!) Since I wrote that first post, almost all of the materials I had ordered had arrived! My teens are already making use of the collection, but I can’t wait until school starts and there are more opportunities to use the new academic books that were purchased.

Besides all the new books, the other great part about this post is that I still have money left to spend! (You can picture me dancing right here. Because I am dancing in my chair, and have been pretty much dancing all week.)

Anyway, now that the collection is mildly in shape and I still have money to spend, this past week I got to go through it AGAIN to check for outdated materials to replace. These are books that definitely had incorrect materials and I have been just ITCHING to get them off our bookshelves…but I couldn’t if I didn’t have the funds to replace them.

Coming up this week, and probably both of my posts next week, I will be showing you some pictures and talking about just how I went/am going about updating these materials.

Check back on Tuesday where I believe I will be talking about updating the “Coping With” series published in the early to mid 90s.

Ordering Books

Ordering Books

Today I will talk about one of my favorite aspects of my job – ordering books! I have a pretty nice budget at my school – we have over 800 students that I have to buy materials for, so sometimes it’s a tough decision. I have low readers and high readers, 1st through 5th grade that check out library materials.

So, I have to be smart and to be smart – I use the wonderful beautiful company called Follett first and foremost. They have this beautiful thing called Titlewave, where I can upload my records, see where I’m lacking based on what research says a school library should have in each dewey number, fiction section etc.

Not to mention, they carry a ton of stuff. So I can order without having to go through a bazillion companies to get the series my students love.

Although, that being said, I found that sometimes buying from the publisher can really pay you back. Literally. Early this year, when I saw an ad from Capstone, saying they’d give me 30% back in free books.. well I couldn’t resist. After all, a lot of the graphic novels and hi-low nonfiction series I buy are Capstone books.

Not only are they awesome because I’m actually getting FREE books… but they make it so easy to buy with their scan and buy catalog. You can just scan away from their catalog to their online catalog with your handy book scanner. I ended up spending way too much this way btw. 🙂

Also, they are trying out a “green” program, which is awesome so far. I scan all the books I’m discarding but still in good condition and they will give me rewards points for sending them off to Better World Books for free. I get rid of old musty books and get points for new books.

I love Capstone’s line of books – they have some of the best graphic novels for elementary students, nonfiction books that are interesting but still at low reading levels for my struggling readers.

Last, but definitely not least, I order from Junior Library Guild.

They really select the greatest books. I only get their graphic novels right now, but after seeing how many of their picks won ALA awards.. I’m considering upping what I get from them. They send you one book a month in the categories you choose and that way you are getting new and fantastic books every month for the full school year.

I have a lot of fun compiling my lists and use magazines like School Library Journal and Booklist to help guide me along the way. It’s hard because I am a slave to Accelerated Reader, meaning I often have to weigh buying a book that doesn’t have a test yet because it probably won’t get checked out as much as one that does. A sad fact of life, but definitely one that defines some of my choices in book selection.


On Building a Teen Non-Fiction Collection

On Building a Teen Non-Fiction Collection

One of my goals this year at my job is to completely re-vamp our teen non-fiction collection. Our collection is fairly large already — bigger than a lot of the other libraries in the area, and especially large given that our population is only at 23,000 — but unfortunately it really hasn’t been updated since before I took this position.

My non-fiction section shortly after accepting my job.

My first task was to weed the outdated materials, or just plain wrong materials out of the section. This process took place over several years.

While I was in the process of this, I also had to evaluate why all of the materials were placed in the YA section. A LOT of the materials were not written at a teen level, and just dealt with topics that I’m sure people wanted to “protect” younger eyes from. (For whatever reason, a lot of stuff about WWII wound up over there. And a lot about Greek/Rome history…and anything specific about battles in wars.) I wound up moving about an eighth of the section back into the J non-fic area.

The non-fic section last fall, with its newly weeded shelves, where I also carved out enough space for some eye-level displays. Also, note the large graphic novel section at the end of the aisle. Yep, that was not there before!

And of course, while I was evaluating the collection I was also purchasing new materials. And working on trying to get some funding to further develop this collection. This year, I am lucky enough to have a sizable amount of the Youth Services budget to put towards the YA non-fic area. (About 13% of the total amount.)

So, where did I begin?

I made sure to get the backlists of the Excellence in Non-Fiction Award, and any Printz books that I was missing.

And then I literally went through our whole system’s records and made a giant YA non-fic database of what I wanted to buy for our collection. These titles have just started rolling in.

New books, waiting to be processed! (These came from the cart labeled “Popular Materials” and have some AWESOME books.)

This is just my starting point, and I hope to get this collection in tip-top shape. Once all my new materials come in, I plan to go through with another weed of the collection for good measure.

So, do you have any favorite sources to find teen non-fiction books? Let me know in the comments.

I’ll be back on Sunday with a review of one of this year’s Printz Honor Books.