Creating a Non-Fiction Collection for Teens

A lot has changed in regards to my library’s teen space & collection within the past two years. In September of 2009, a thorough weeding project made room for our newly created teen space. No longer in an awkward part of the children’s room, the teens now have their own area in the adult department. It’s full of many things that were not available (exclusively or at all) to the teens before. There’s a table! And lots of chairs! And a zine collection! And teen-created artwork on the walls! It’s pretty great.

One thing that we didn’t have, however, was a separate non-fiction collection for teens. Books that would be considered teen non-fiction were mixed in with the adult collection (although there were some juvenile non-fiction books that may have worked for teens, as well). It wasn’t until December of 2010 that we decided to create an entirely separate non-fiction collection for teens that would be housed in the teen space. I’m not exactly sure what took us so long, considering we already have graphic novels, manga, Cliffs Notes, and YA audiobooks as part of the teen collection. But I am glad we made the move!

I pulled some books from the library’s other collections & then also ordered a bunch of new items (books on health, relationships, finance, etc) to balance out the collection. I’ve been putting some of the newer, more appealing books on display (Lauren Conrad Style, the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook) to draw attention to this new section of the teen space. And it’s made a big difference. It seems that more teen non-fiction is being checked out, which is awesome. Now I am waiting patiently for one of our teen patrons to check out First Guitar Tutor (by Terry Burrows) & become a world famous rock star. I can’t wait!


3 thoughts on “Creating a Non-Fiction Collection for Teens

  1. Yes to non-fiction for teens! I’ve been told (by my agent & editor — I’m a writer of a YA contemporary fiction with a love for non-fiction) that teens don’t “do” non-fiction, and yet I can recall a very well-worn copy of THE PREPPY HANDBOOK hanging around my childhood bedroom for years.


    • It’s actually PUBLISHERS that don’t “do” non-fiction for teens. At my library we can’t keep enough copies of A Child Called “it”,My Bloody Life, and STIFF by Mary Roach on the shelves. Good books are good books and will find good readers.

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