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to re-cover or not to re-cover. September 22, 2009

Posted by Katie in library work.
1 comment so far

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks at my library. After summer reading draws to a close, every two years I weed our YA collection. We have a small section, and I need to make sure that the books that are on our shelves are in good condition and are being read.

Sometimes that means replacing paperback copies of well-loved books, sometimes that means getting rid of series that aren’t read anymore. (This year I had to get rid of all the Christopher Pike books. It was hard. But they hadn’t checked out since 2003 and six years is a long time to sit on a shelf.)

Books in good condition get put in our book sale. Books in bad condition get thrown out.

This year I saved some of my YA budget to replace old covers with new copies. A timely decision on my part, I also saw an article in School Library Journal discussing student cover preference.

Below, we’ve got some of the covers that were replaced. Old ones on the left, new ones on the right.






So, it’s conflicting opinions. They have issues with drawn covers, but they also sometimes prefer drawn/illustrated covers.

I’m pretty sure that while the article brings up a lot of good tips for covers, it also just comes to down to the simple question of, “Does this cover look dated?”

A completely different cover story? My Teen Book Club has heard me pitch “Suite Scarlett” a lot in the last few months, but they didn’t take it from the book talk pile. Oddly enough, when we voted on books for book club (using the paperback cover) it was the number one pick.


So, leave me a note. Tell me about a cover you hate or a cover you love. I’ll love to hear your thoughts.


the effect of what i do. August 26, 2009

Posted by Katie in library work.

Every year, the first prize given away at my library in the teen summer reading program is a book. The first prize. A lot of libraries save their book giveaway for the last prize, for the teens who complete the program. In my library, my teens do not own books like I do. When they go to Borders, it is to browse for book titles only to return to the library with a list of manga twenty volumes long that they need placed on hold.

I love this. And I hate it at the same time. I love that they come to me to get their books, that they visit the library. I hate that they don’t own books that they want to own.

I see the value in giving them a book — I see it at every Teen Book Club I run, every TBC where I give away fifteens paperback copies of the book we’re reading. Every TBC when a teen asks me, “Can I really keep this?” and I get to see their face light up when I reply, “Yes.”

My teens votes on book club selections. They also vote on what books will go on the prize cart. Yes, we had thirty plus copies of “Twilight,” but we also had Printz winners, BBYA selections, and even Gossip Girl. I will buy them whatever they want to read.

So our book prize is our first prize. It is also our last prize, once they do complete the program. I tell you all about this because I want you to understand the magnitude of what happened in my library on Monday.

I returned to my job after a week’s vacation (I burned my feet and was forced on bed rest) to find a copy of John Green’s “Looking for Alaska” tucked into my inbox. Puzzled, I found a post-it note attached to the front in a co-worker’s handwriting. It said that one of my teens wanted to donate this to the library to be put into the collection. Just inside the book, right behind the title page, I found a note.


The note is as follows:

Dear Readers, I read this book and it personally moved me. I must tell you that I cried at the end of this book. I am not saying this is a totally sad book. For me, it’s not. It starts a new beggining [sp] from an ending. I learned something from the character Miles in this book. I found my “Great Perhaps”. I hope this book has as much meaning to you, as it did me. P.S. – Be thankful I was willing to share. 🙂 Sincerely, [Teen].

I have never felt more proud and happy in my life.