The Juvenile Collection in the Academic Library: Does it belong here?

By Alice Crosetto and Mark Horan.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Individuals on a college campus are often puzzled, maybe indignant, about juvenile literature being in their academic library. But 59% of Ohio academic libraries have identifiable juvenile literature collections while another 22% have juvenile literature, including picture books and big books, in their main collections. Why the dismay when academics discover The Very Hungry Caterpillar shares shelf space with the Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy? The question of the Juvenile Collection in an academic library mirrors the same asked regarding Children’s Literature in higher education and its place in the canon of literature worthy of academic discussion. A review of Library Literature reveals very little research in this topic. Education students and faculty are not the only ones on the college campus that utilize this collection; other programs that use this collection are: art therapy, art, clinical and developmental psychology, language and linguistics, cultural anthropology, foreign languages, religions, and interdisciplinary programs focusing on multicultural and diversity studies. In financially challenged times, escalating costs of print materials and electronic resources make this an easily targeted collection – a collection of books that many say should stay in the public and school library.

Maintaining a Juvenile Collection does provide some challenges:
• Limited funds allocated for this budget line creates the need to be most selective in acquiring titles, almost guaranteeing a quality collection;
• Is the Juvenile Collection a working or a historical collection?
• Pathfinders need to be designed to advertise the Collection to both Education and non-Education students.

This paper will address the challenges and importance of maintaining a juvenile collection in an academic library. Does juvenile literature belong in the academic library? How can the academic librarian provide support for juvenile literature? These questions will initiate further discussion.

Keywords: Juvenile Collection, Picture Books, Children's Literature

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.101-108. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.646MB).

Prof Alice Crosetto

Acquisitions Librarian, Universities Libraries/Carlson Library, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA

Professor Alice Crosetto, MA, MEd, MLS, has taught at both the high school and university level and has spent almost thirty years as an educator and librarian in college and school libraries in the Cleveland and Youngstown, Ohio, areas. One of her current areas of interest and research is evaluating the role a collection of picture books, children’s literature and juvenile literature has in the academic library. Possessing 9 years experience as a K-4 children’s librarian and almost 10 years experience as an academic Education Librarian, Professor Crosetto contends that maintaining such collections in the academic library not only supports the Department of Education curriculum but also benefits other disciplines such as art, Art Therapy, foreign languages, etc. Another area of interest is investigating the value of a video collection in the academic library. The video format successfully addresses multiple intelligences and learning styles.

Mark Horan

University of Toledo, USA

Mark Horan, MA, MLS has taught composition at the university level.  He has spent close to twenty-five years working as a reference librarian in academic libraries as well as consulting on various issues in small to medium-sized libraries.  Currently, Mr. Horan is Coordinator of College Libraries and College Librarian for the College of Education in Toledo.  He is interested in environmental aspects of visual learning


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