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last updated: 4/20/2012

Collection Development Policies - Children's Literature

Children's Literature Collection

  1. Introduction
    1. Purpose of the policy statement
      The purpose of this policy statement is to guide the collection manager in acquiring books for the I.U. Libraries Children's Literature Collection.

    2. Audience
      Audience of this collection policy will be the collection manager of Children's Literature, collection managers of Education, SLIS and Folklore, the Director of Collection Management, and possibly library school students.

    3. Description of institution/department and clientele
      The 21,000 volume I.U. Children's Literature Collection is a selective group of children's and young adult literature housed in the Education Library ( The collection supports the curriculum of children's literature classes in the School of Education, School of Library and Information Science, and the English Department. The collection is available to and is used by students, staff, faculty and Indiana residents.

    4. Brief overview of the collection
      1. History of the collection
        The Children's Literature Collection was originally a joint effort of the School of Education ( and the Graduate Library School ( initiated in 1969 and was shelved in the School of Education Library. The collection was moved to the fifth floor of the Undergraduate Library in the mid 70's due to two factors. The first factor was the space limitation in the School of Education Library and the second was a convenience factor, students from several schools were using the collections and the Main Library was thought to be more convenient than the School of Education Library.

        The Library of Congress Classification system was initially used to classify the children's books. In 1973, the librarians working with the collection proposed to reclassify the children's collection using the Dewey Decimal Classification system. They felt that the Dewey system adapted more closely to children's literature and the education and library school students using the collections would likely find the Dewey system used in their school or public libraries. The collection was reclassified by the staff in the Graduate Library School Library. The staff in the Graduate Library School Library also cataloged new books for the collection.

        The Children's Literature Collection was moved to the new Education Library in January 1993 due to space limitations on the fifth floor of the Undergraduate Library. After the move, the cataloging responsibilities were transferred from the SLIS Library to the Technical Services Department of the Main Library.

        Prior to January 1993, the books in the Children's Literature Collection were not included in IUCAT. A cooperative project between the Education Library staff and the Monographic Processing Services staff was implemented to load the records into IUCAT in 1993.

      2. Collection strengths and weaknesses
        The collection's strength is that most of the books have been evaluated and have achieved status on a published list of recommended books. The majority of the books are included in the reference books used by the students, such as Best Books for Children and Adventuring With Books. Two genre strengths are the fairytale collection (approximately 700 volumes) and biographies of historical and popular figures (approximately 900 volumes). . A collection of approximately 350 books nominated for the international 1998 Hans Christian Andersen Children's Book Award in a variety of languages were purchased from one of the jurors in 1999.

        Weaknesses are that the collection is only representative of an author's work and may not include all of the titles written by an author. The collection does not include complete sets of popular juvenile fiction such as the Fear Street or the Babysitters Club series. However, the collection is intended to be representative of the available children's literature, it is not intended to be a typical school library media center collection or public library collection.

      3. Subject areas emphasized or deemphasized
      4. Collection locations
  2. Scope of Coverage
    1. Languages collected and excluded
      Most of the books in the collection are in the English language and published in the United States. Current purchasing is limited to new books published in EnglishPicture and chapter books, works of poetry and works of non-fiction are included in the collections.

    2. Geographical areas covered and excluded
      There are no geographical area limits.

    3. Chronological periods covered and excluded
      There are no chronological limits.

    4. Dates of publication of materials collected; current vs. retrospective coverage
      Newly published books are purchased.

    5. Formats collected and excluded
      The Children's Literature fund subscribes to eight periodical titles for children. Books and periodicals are the only formats purchased by the Children's fund.
  3. Collecting Responsibility
    The Education Librarian was initially responsible for the collection. By the 1980's the fund manager for the Children's Literature Collection was the librarian for the School of Library and Information Science in cooperation with a faculty member in the School of Library Sciences. In 1995 the collection management transferred to the Education Library, the manager is the Assistant Head of the Education Library.

  4. Related Collections
    Education Library Teaching Materials Collection This collection includes children's videos, audio tapes, and manipulatives.

    School of Library and Information Sciences Library Reference tools about children's books.

    Lilly Library Children's Literature Collection The Lilly Library holds nearly 10,000 children's books, most of them from the Elisabeth Ball collection which came to the Library in 1983.

  5. Principal Sources of Supply and Major Selection Tools
    The Education fund initially funded the Children's Literature Collection. By 1973 a separate budget had been established. Currently, the Children's collection is funded by the I.U. Libraries and the Helen Painter Endowment.

    In addition to purchasing the award winning children's books (Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King, etc), the books listed on many annual lists, including the "ALA Notable Children's Books"," ALA Best Books For Young Adults", "Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People", and "Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12" are purchased. Books on the and Publisher's Weekly bestsellers lists are also purchased. Faculty requests are a high priority.

  6. Preservation
    1. Criteria for selection for preservation and/or mass deacidification
      Books in need of repair are either repaired by Education Library staff or sent to the Libraries' Preservation Department. Often a new book will be purchased to replace a book that is damaged.
  7. Selection Criteria for ALF
    The children's books shelved in the Main Library classified in the PZ 7 call number have been selected to be sent to the ALF. Children's books that have circulated no more than one time, since 1991 with a publication date prior to 1990 have been selected from Education Library to be shelved in the ALF.

  8. Digital Projects
    This collection is not a priority for digitization.

  9. Other Resources and Libraries
    Monroe County Public Library Children's Collection is used by some students to complement the IU Children's Literature Collection.

    Digital Collections

    The Baldwin Project: Bringing Yesterday's Classics to Today's Children

    Children's Books Online: the Rosetta Project, Inc.

    Children's Series Books Available On-Line

    Classics for Young People

    International Children's Digital Library

    Nineteenth-Century American Children and What They Read

  10. Consortial Agreements

Children's Literature Collection Home Page

Revised April 2012

last updated: 4/20/2012