Saturday, December 01, 2007

Sources on Urban Literature

I've dipped my toe into the world of buying urban/street lit for my library's YA collection, and now it's time to dive in all the way.

I'm going to make use of my blog (well, it is my blog, after all) as a repository for sources on YA "appropriate" street lit. For now, a lot of this information is coming from Teen Librarian, but I'm trying to pull together some other resources as well. If you have any recommendations, please let me know!

More Books Like the Coldest Winter Ever

Library Success Wiki

Street Fiction for Teens

Hennepin County Library

Young Diamond Books (Street Lit for Teens)

Bluford Series

(that's what I've found as of 12/3/2007)

The teen librarians at my library are currently having a discussion about street lit. Well, I started the discussion, because I am responsible for selecting paperback fiction for all of our branches. Several librarians have requested street lit for their teen sections. The selection of "actual" teen literature that qualifies as street lit is limited, and many of these titles are more suited for the adult side.

At least, that's my perspective.

I'm doing the research. I'm finding the titles. But I am also wondering whether or not it is a wise idea to go out and create a brand new collection of books simply because someone asks for it. I'm sure there are people who would like to see Playboy on our shelves, too, but we don't stock that. Some of these street lit titles are even categorized as "erotica." I am having trouble stomaching the thought of placing "erotica" on the shelves next to Princess Diaries. It's a challenging walking the line between the grey censorship of collection development and true censorship.

I'm on the side of purchasing the most teen "appropriate" street lit and letting the adult selectors pick up the other titles.

But I'm willing to hear other opinions.

What do other YA Librarians out there think about this?

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