Fear and collection development

Linda Braun wrote a fantastic post on the YALSA blog about being afraid of what the community might think when choosing items for a teen collection. She writes:

As I kept hearing this comment I thought about how some librarians use “I know my community” as an excuse for not purchasing controversial materials for the collection. For example, if I say that my community doesn’t want these materials for teens on the shelves then it’s OK that I don’t buy them.

The rest of her post explores why this thinking is false and why teen librarians need to be advocates for the teens they serve.  She argues that teen librarians might need to “continually educate adults about the role of the library in a teen’s life and make sure adults in the community know why it’s important to have a wide-variety of materials available to teen”

The comments that people have left on this post are thoughtful and definitely worth reading.

On Thoughts from a Library Administrator, Michael Golrich comments on Braun’s post:

It is a critical role of the public library to have the information which people need — even if it makes other people “uncomfortable.”

Thanks Susie for including this in your bulletin!


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