Musings on Young Adult Fiction

By Liz

One of my favorite parts of the new Jackson County Library is our Teen Area and the new shelf space we have for the Young Adult book collection. Most of my fairly short career as a librarian has focused on serving teens, and I am excited to watch JCPL’s collection grow. In the “old building” space was so limited that it was difficult to develop a dynamic book collection for this age group but now we have the shelf space to really beef up our collection! I encourage all of our Young Adult fiction readers to submit book requests for items they want to read that we don’t own. Requests can be made at any of the public service desks, or if you want you can come find me and let me know your fancy. I love selecting and ordering books but I also appreciate a passionate reader coming to me and saying, “Liz–the library needs this book!”

A few days ago our staff put out a slew of new YA books–I think we nearly doubled the number of books in the collection (insert screams of joy here). Some of these are not “new”, like Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls, but they are new to our collection. Others like the Libba Bray book titled Beauty Queens (think Lord of the Flies with chicks and lip-gloss and you get the picture) are fresh from the print press. Nothing pleases me like looking at the “New Books” shelf in the teen area and seeing fifty of sixty sparkly new covers, spines just waiting to be cracked!

One thing I have noticed is that TONS of adults are checking out Young Adult fiction books. We can blame J.K. Rowling in part for this phenomenon, but it has continued long past Harry Potter–The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins is case in point. The Atlantic has a great article from August 1, 2011 about Young Adult literature and the increasing number of readers and writers in this particular subset of fiction. The author suggests that the same kids who grew up with Harry and Hogwarts are now entering college, the workforce, etc. and perhaps these are the “adults” we now see perusing the YA fiction collections in libraries and bookstores. Whomever they are, they need to come to Jackson County Library and help us fill the gaps so the next generation of readers can come and find what they want on the shelf–or perhaps if we can do this in the near future,  in e-book format?


3 thoughts on “Musings on Young Adult Fiction

  1. Hey Liz, YAs are getting more popular all the time, it seems to me, especially since the Stephanie Meyer vampire series. When time allows, I’m going to browse your shelves to see what you have. Don’t be surprised to find us borrowing some of them!


  2. This is great, Liz! It’s nice to know that a new generation of young people are learning the joys of reading in whatever forms are available to them.

    I’m glad the kids at Jackson Public Library have you as an advocate. When I was a little guy, a public librarian tore up the copy of The Amazing Spider-Man that I was reading and told me that “trash” didn’t have a place in the library.

    Years later I threw a muddy sock at her door. I felt a lot better.


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