April 29, 2020

Building a collection for 1000 books before kindergarten

In a previous blog post, I wrote about parents who are looking for all the book recommendations they can get their hands on and how libraries can support them. If you’re working from home, or in the library working in shifts, and wondering how best to build up your collection of board and picture books to support those parents and early readers (or book chewers), here are some suggestions for Core Collections customers.  

Award winners 

Award winners are such an easy place to start. With awards like the Caldecott Medal, you can make sure your library has the classics (both old and new). With awards like the Coretta Scott King Awards, the Aurealis Awards, and the Schneider Family Book Awards, you can make sure your collection provides both mirrors of your community and windows into others. Libraries can easily search for award winners by typing the name of the award in the Advanced Search and selecting AW Award winner from the drop-down. For any book award that crosses ages, you can narrow your search to children’s books by using the limiter on the left and limiting to Children’s Core Collection.  

Libraries can also upload their local collections to quickly check to see which of those award winners are in their collections. This last part is especially helpful after a big weeding effort. We all know that books that should be reordered when the last copy is weeded (and suddenly your library doesn’t have Last Stop on Market Street, despite the fact that you’re of the belief that every library should own that book.) 

Most Highly Recommended titles 

Now that your library has made sure that you have all award winners you need, it’s time to check that you have the best-reviewed books available. Core Collections provides an easy way for you to see those best reviews books with “The Most Highly Recommended” designation. The Core Collections interface makes it easy to first click on “Most Highly Recommended” titles, then to limit to the Core Collection you need, like Children’s Core Collection. Again, that option to upload your local collection and quickly see which titles you own will let you easily add books that you need to purchase to a folder so you can keep track.  

Core Collections titles 

Those Most Highly Recommended Titles are the ones the Core Collections advisors feel will have staying power in your library, but that doesn’t mean they are the only books you should be thinking about purchasing. You can do the same search for Most Highly Recommended titles for Core Collections titles. These are titles recommended for a well-rounded collection in a library, after considering your local community, shelf-space, and budget. 

If you’re ever not sure what the purchase levels mean, there’s a Collection Development Policy and Recommendation Levels document on the Core Collection home page 

Create depth in your collection with NoveList genres and subject headings 

NoveList genres and subject headings are now available in Core Collections (both are searched as subject headings). For example, if you suddenly have a baby boom in your community, you might want to search “New Baby in the Family” as a subject in the advanced search. You’ll get a list of books with that as a subject heading and see the recommendation levels to make purchase decisions. If you’re expanding your collection, the supplementary titles are also important. And don’t forget that you can see all the NoveList genres in our Secret Language of Books

Don’t have Core Collections and want to give building a microcollection a try? Ask for more information about Core Collections and explore all it has to offer. 


Jennifer Lohmann is the Director of Sales and Marketing for NoveList. She and her family are reading the complete oeuvre of Sandra Boynton, engaging in heated discussions of the representations of wealth and class in Hippos Go Berserk as compared to The Great Gatsby.    





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