Monday, October 16, 2006

Juvenile collection: Christmas

After going through the SLJ offerings, I did select five or six possible Christmas titles to add to the juvenile collection. I will check additional review sources on my selections and see how they may, or may not, fit in to the current collection. Out of curiousity, I performed a quick catalog search, simple subject headings, for juvenile Christmas titles. Here are a few of the results:
  • Christmas - juvenile literature = 10
  • Christmas - juvenile poetry = 13
  • Christmas cookery - juvenile literature = 2
  • Christmas cards - juvenile fiction = 1
  • Santa Claus - juvenile fiction = 30
  • Santa Claus - juvenile literature = 3
  • Santa Claus - juvenile poetry = 3
  • Jesus Christ Nativity - juvenile fiction = 10
  • Jesus Christ Nativity - juvenile literature = 7

It's important to keep in mind several of these subject headings could easily be duplicates as many of the books in questions might be Christmas and Santa Claus or Christmas and Jesus Christ Nativity. With this in mind I broadened the search in one regard by using keyword for "Christmas," narrowed the returns to "juvenile," and retrieved a total of 246 titles ranging in publication dates from 1893 (2) to 2005. The two 1893 titles are A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Arthur Rackham (2 copies), and Christmas every day: and other stories, by W. D. Howells. A closer look at the publication dates for the last five year, my tenure at the library, shows the following breakdown of numbers between 200 and 2005:

  • 2005 = 12
  • 2004 = 12
  • 2003 = 22
  • 2002 = 20
  • 2001 = 15
  • 2000 = 18

That is a total 0f 99 Christmas books, or roughly 40% of the current collection, has a publication date within the last five years (I didn't buy this year yet!). That percentage could easily be bumped up because there is no guarantee the Christmas book purchases within that five years were books published in that time frame. I know I purchased a significant amount from a listing of books I selected for the public library three years prior. While this is an insignificant amount compared to the entire juvenile collection, it is easy to see why I am considering pulling back some on the holiday purchases; especially when this is only a sampling of Christmas titles. Consider holiday, Kwanzaa, and Chanukah.

Then again, what's a dozen books in the big scheme of things? If they are quality books they are a good purchase and a positive collection development step regardless.

It is a puzzlement.

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1 comment:

Sean Carter said...

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