The children's collection serves children from birth through twelve years old and adults involved with children such as parents, caregivers, teachers, homeschoolers, group leaders, and children's literature students. It includes materials for all reading, listening, and viewing levels; for all recreational preferences; and on all subject interests. Because the children's collection spans birth through twelve years, it includes material for pre-readers and beginning readers which will not interest older children. By the same token, material purchased for older children is often too complicated to be useful or understood by the younger child. Parents should assist their children, especially younger children, in selecting material to meet their needs satisfactorily.
Replacement and duplication of older titles is extensive as children read and reread favorite books spanning generations. Besides materials for children, the children's collection contains material on children's literature and library service to children and a number of books concerned with parenting and teaching.
The children's print collection, like all of literature, often reflects reality. As such it may include material which is controversial or offensive to some.
The library provides picture books for reading aloud and sharing with children from birth to grades three or four. In these books, the text and pictures should complement each other. Sentences should be rhythmic and vocabulary distinctive and appropriate for the child's listening ability. The illustrations should be artistic and satisfying to the child. The story should be original and interesting, preferably with an underlying theme to add depth to a minimal plot. Concept and information books should be creatively presented. The illustrations in wordless books should encourage the child to create a story. Easy to read books should be artistically illustrated and creatively written with a readability of pre-primer through grade three. All picture books should broaden the child either emotionally or intellectually.
Fiction is selected mainly for grades four through six. Plot should grow out of a strong theme, be believable, and excitingly developed through action. Characters should be logically motivated and revealed through incidents. The words should flow smoothly with few clich. Dialogue should sound natural. Illustrations, if included, should be artistic and add to the appreciation of the story. Adaptations and abridgments are purchased only when they are faithful to the intent of the original. Each book in a series is evaluated separately.
Non-fiction should be accurate, objective, and consistently appropriate to the age of the reader. The format should be appealing with the inclusion of diagrams, maps, illustrations, and photographs as needed to enhance the understanding or enjoyment of the text. The text should show some originality of treatment. The style should be direct and neither over simplified nor too complicated for the intended audience. Indexes and bibliographies should usually be included, and they should be accurate and complete.
Books to assist with learning another language are selected as well as a few translations of easy children's books originally published in English.
The non-circulating reference collection, while not extensive, consists of books needed to answer specific questions and to assist with the location of material in other books. It includes encyclopedias, almanacs, dictionaries, bibliographic aids, indexes, important lists, definitive books in areas such as plants, shells, birds, states, and presidents, and books related to the subject of children's literature.
Books by important authors and illustrators and books that have been critically acclaimed in the past are added to this Main Library collection as last copies are withdrawn from the circulating collection. Interesting gift books such as examples of old spellers, readers, and textbooks are added along with other books of significance.
Magazines and some online databases are selected to appeal to children of all ages and are chosen from approved professional lists and from examination of new publications. Magazines for adults are selected to cover interests in children's literature, library service to children, and education.