Description of Process and Community Information: My community library is a public library in the area code of 60657, where, according to the 2010 Census, 65,996 people live. Since my focus is on young adult materials, I looked solely at the age groups of 10-14, and 15-19. The gender distribution was almost equal, with 436 males and 439 females in the younger age group, and 427 males and 475 females in the older age bracket. These age brackets together equal about 2.7% of my community’s population.
The 5-year estimates of 2009-2013 place 99.6% of 10-14 year-olds and 92.9% of 15-17% year-olds in school. Almost half of these students go to public schools, while the other half goes to private school. Considering that the median income is $75,885 per year and the average housing costs of rent is $1,491, these age groups have plenty of access to electronic devices and literature. Because of this, I felt that purchasing e-books and audiobooks in addition to paper books was a valid purchase.
These students are highly likely to have tablets, iPods, smart phones, and e-readers, on which they can access both the e-book and downloadable audiobook content. There are free Kindle apps for the e-book and a free downloadable app for the audiobook as well. A patron can even check out both the e-book and audiobook version of a title, start reading the e-book, and then switch over to the audiobook version that will pick up where the left off on the e-book. This is why I chose to use e-books and audiobooks from the same company, I liked their compatibility.
With the ability to get 3 versions of some of the titles, I was able to maximize the circulation ability with the most popular and newest titles. I made sure that most of the titles offered a print version because 7.1% of families with children are poor in my community and may not have the same accessibility to electronic devices as their peers. 5.4% of students in my age group speak Spanish as their first language, so I made sure to include Spanish books as well.
My book choices came from Kirkus Reviews, some from Booklist, and many from Amazon’s website. After flipping through the physical lists, I was able to browse online and pick other books that seemed like great choices as well. I also found some interesting lists from the Chicago Public Library website that helped me to pick very current, popular books for the older teenage age bracket in my group. The YALSA website also had some great lists that helped me to narrow down my choices in the graphic novel genre.
I decided not to go with purchasing any movies or music for the collection because the age bracket for the group is very tough to please. They are too young for music with mature content, and too old for children’s songs. Movies have the same problem, they are too young for some of the PG-13 content, and getting ‘safe’ Disney movies isn’t what the older kids would want. Moreover, these patrons are highly likely to have already purchased any movies and music that they want, or their parents have purchased the movies and music they approve of for them.
This project was a fun and interesting experience in what it would be like to actually develop a collection. I am glad for this experience and would love to do this again in a future job.