Sunday, 6 May 2012

Teen collections

The other day I was discussing with a colleague the issues everyone seems to be having with their teen collections. My belief is that we need to treat this collection the same way we treat magazines – as an ephemeral and much more disposable collection.  Buy what is trending; buy lots of copies of what is trending.  If that is what our teenage customers want to read, then give it to them.  Why have a massive holds queue of The hunger games because we want to avoid having multiple copies left sitting on the shelves once the popularity wanes, when we have copies of other books just sitting on the shelves regardless?  Why do we insist on having well rounded collections in order to adhere to a collection development policy that obviously is not meeting their needs, judging by the static or dropping stats in this area?  Why not change the collection development policy to reflect what teens want, when they want it?  When the books are no longer popular, weed them as you would any other time.  We’re weeding books that have barely been used, if at all.  If ever there was justification for just in time versus just in case, this is it.  For this audience, be reactive, not proactive.