Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Checking out tomorrow’s school library collections

Gates, Angela

Stephens, W. (2014). Checking out tomorrow’s school library collections. Young Adult Library Services, 12(3), 17-19.

I thought this was an interesting article on collection development trends in school libraries. The author interviewed three library professionals—a university faculty member, an instructional media/technology coordinator, and a school librarian—to assess their thoughts on the future of collection development.

One of the points made in the article that I found particularly relevant to what we have been studying lately was the idea that rather than trying to represent everything, school libraries should develop collections based on the unique needs and requirements of the schools that they serve. One of the interviewees is quoted in the article as saying that a school library’s collection should be “unbalanced”—meaning that the school library should not attempt to devote equal resources to all parts of the collection.  For example, a school library that serves a high population of students without access to books (either at home or through a public library) might want to devote more of its resources to the fiction collection.  The school library that I volunteer in serves an elementary school that has a quarterly science or social studies thematic curriculum (e.g. Geology, Immigration etc.), studied by all the grades in the school, so our library needs a depth of resources in these particular topical areas.

Other important points made in the article were very much in line with what we have been discussing this semester: for example, looking beyond purchasing print materials, particularly for non-fiction materials, and the impact of Common Core standards on school libraries.

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