Friday, January 11, 2013

Are your youth books captivating or repellant?

Is a book from 2003 too old for a church library?  Would you throw out a book in perfectly good condition just because the cover image looked a bit dated? Even if the content is still valid? The bloggers at Awful Library Books think that maybe you should.

Awful Library Books is one of those fun blogs that makes you roll your eyes and learn at the same time.  Two librarians target "awful library books" - items that should be withdrawn from a library's collection yet haven't been. Their January 8th post targets out-of-date devotionals for teens and they point out : "Teen religious materials are popular in my library, but like all things they age quickly." 

That's for sure! Consider a book written for teens and published in 2000.  A thirteen year old looking at the book today wasn't even conceived when the book was written. His parents could have been teenagers 13 years ago!  How could a book written to help them possibly be relevant today!? 

Yes, teen problems, at their core, are the same from generation to generation. Ever since Adam and Eve, people have sought guidance on issues of identity, relationships, worldview, and meaningful faith. We're no longer concerned with fig leaves, talking serpents or the morality of eating certain fruits yet we still need help.

Savvy librarians know that their resources need to captivate their readers; outdated material will only repel them.

Post a comment: What kind of guidelines do you use to keep your collection "captivating'?

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