Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Weeding the teen collection

Every year (or two) I have to go through the teen collection and withdraw books that no longer circulate, have fallen apart, are outdated, et cetera to make room for all the new and wonderful books I have ordered for the collection. Usually, I do so with a smile on my face. Yes, I can get rid of the Buffy the Vampire Hunter movie novelization! Yea! I don't need fifteen copies of Twilight anymore! Hip Hip Hooray! Meg Cabot books fit on two shelves again! And for a while I can even face out books on the shelves to market them to teen readers browsing in the area. (Confession: While "weeding" as librarians call it, I tend to display books that are borderline titles that need pushing.)

But this year, I have come across some titles that will break my heart if I withdraw them from the collection. Robert Cormier. I'm sure I've blogged about him and his wonderfully dark tales before, but I'm doing it again. A handful of his books are on the chopping block. And I don't wanna do it. I'll probably buckle down and withdraw a second copy, but I just can't get rid of the books that made me want to be a teen librarian and made me love teen literature and what it can showcase.

To whomever is reading The Chocolate War and I am the Cheese, thank you. While those are Cormier's two most popular and well known titles, he has some other great ones if you like novels that make you think about injustices, and the gray between black and white, and are pretty unpredictable. For example, After the First Death follows the events of a school bus hijacking told through the eyes of terrorist, a hostage, a general, and the general's son who is the go-between.

So please, do me a favor. Go check out his books from the library for me. And if you don't use my library--go to your local library and check them out there.

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