Continuing my highlights from ALA Annual Conference 2022, on Sunday June 26, after the YA Author Coffee Klatch, I attended a Collection Management Discussion Group sponsored by the Association for Library Services to Children. I was especially excited about this session, because exactly five days before, I’d started my new job as Youth Materials Selector for my library system.
Though this was a lot of detailed and specific discussions, and I still didn’t really know what I didn’t know. But it was good to meet the group and I got my name on an email list.
Among other things, we discussed book challenges. Some libraries had dealt with “1st Amendment Auditors.” Their PR department made a good list of talking points. You have to be careful in email — “You end up with pen pals.” Talk about other options and know what you have on the shelves.
We discussed that children’s nonfiction collections didn’t go out as much during the pandemic. Some libraries were building “curriculum kits” for home schoolers, working with local schools. Some of the nonfiction collection is switching to ebooks.
I did learn that for those who had tried it, a “Lucky Day” collection didn’t work as well with children’s books. Mainly, children’s book usage doesn’t fall off as much as adults do — children don’t care as much if it’s new, because it’s new to them. One person said their library did 5 or 6 “Lucky Day” books for children per month. (These are always available.) After 6 months, if each copy hasn’t gone out in the last two months, that title is weeded from the Lucky Day collection.
There’s been some plateauing of ebooks, but we’ll see what the summer holds. The pandemic has changed a lot of patterns. Everybody’s buying fewer CDs — mostly just children’s and not young adult.
After that meeting was Library Family Feud!
I got to be on a team of Librarians to compete against a team of Authors to win real money for book-related charities! Here’s the Author team:
It was a whole lot of fun. I knew two of my teammates from Capitol Choices (a DC-area group of librarians that makes a list of 100 notable children’s and YA books each year). Hundreds of librarians were surveyed to get the answers, so we may have had an advantage, though in the past the authors usually won.
I’m most proud of my answer when the topic was “Famous Poets” and I thought of “Amanda Gorman” to steal it from the Authors.
And — we won! Here’s the winning team of Librarians!
We got books signed by the authors when we finished.
After that, I went back to the exhibits, where I got more books signed and attended a Book Buzz Fall Preview for Levine Querido Books, Chronical Books, and Candlewick Press. They made me want to get all the books!
Then it was time to change for the Newbery/Caldecott/Legacy Banquet!