Middle School Collection Development – Middle School Monday: Building a Middle School Public Library Collection, Part 1

This is a neat resource for Middle Grade collection development. It touches on a lot of the points that our class observed during our Community Analysis Reports. Namely, that in a lot of public libraries middle graders are “falling through the cracks” in terms of programming, resources, and collections. It seems like public libraries are focusing primarily on early literacy, and then jumping straight to an emphasis on teens.

This blog entry from YALSA talks about the importance of building a strong middle school public library collection, and makes a few interesting points as to why. First, the author claims that “childrens” books are getting older as a whole. This means that middle grade novels are increasingly edging toward “teen topics” such as serious relationships, drug use, and other heavy-hitting themes. This is leaving a hole in collections for actual materials that would appeal to middle graders. The issue with this is as follows:

If they cannot find books that speak to them, they may determine that books in general don’t speak to them.”

When you can’t figure out where to find books for your age group, it’s not only frustrating but can also leave you feeling lost as to where you belong at the library.”


This is a super important topic to consider, as no public library wants to lose this base of young, yet important readers. Plus, I loved that this librarian decided to name her middle grade collection “Middle Ground” – de-emphasizing a specific age demographic but at the same time highlighting its user base.

Part 2 of this Middle School Monday blog entry is also worth a read, as it goes much more into the specifics of selection criteria and the actual collection development process.

Middle School Collection Development – Middle School Monday: Building a Middle School Public Library Collection, Part 1

Collection Development for Early Childhood – Board Book Buzz | Editors’ Picks


When I was researching resources for early childhood collective development, I was excited to come across this annotated list (published by School Library Journal), of 50 “buzz-worthy” board books.  It was published in July 2017, so includes primarily titles for babies, toddlers, and preschool readers that just came out in the past year.

After working in the Strand Book Store’s Children’s Department, I know just how particular parents can be about picking books out for even the littlest readers! Parents and educators look for books on a variety of topics: feelings,  animals, New York City, opposites, colors, counting… the list goes on. Interactivity (such as lift-the-flap and textures), as well as how the book reads (does it rhyme? can you sing it? is it bilingual?) are also super important factors to consider.

Which is why this list is great – the ‘annotations’ give a small summary of the book’s topic or theme, the suggested age, as well as info on how it reads and any special features! (such as this one that uses actual Picasso sketches to teach animal recognition). Also, it features books by diverse authors, as well as several bilingual choices. I think this collection of board books would be an excellent resource for anyone wanting to build a current early childhood library collection.

Collection Development for Early Childhood – Board Book Buzz | Editors’ Picks