Ask an Agent: Where Do You Shelve Your Hi-Lo Books?

askanagent2You’ve got questions,  we’ve got answers! Our volunteer Agents are on the job! Here’s what they have to say this week….

Question: I have an increasing number of teens coming in wanting the next book in a series that upon further investigation is from Orca or Saddleback publishers that their ‘library teacher’ gave to them because they don’t like to read. Typically, my book recommendations for reluctant readers focus on the content and not specifically reading level, but maybe length of the text. Do public librarians have collections of hi-lo books separate from the general fiction collection for these types of requests? How do other folks handle ‘reluctant’ readers who have only ever been given this solution?

Jenni (Columbus (Wisconsin) Public Library) says:

As a public librarian, I have never seen a special collection of hi-lo books. I do collect them, but I interfile these books with the rest of the young adult fiction. In this situation, I would see if I could locate the particular book within our system. If it was not available, I would consider adding the books to our collection. At that moment, though, with the teen in front of me, I would probably ask them what they liked about the series and conduct a standard readers advisory interview to find them some other books they might enjoy while they wait for their particular title to be available.

Andrea (TSU) says:

I have never separated these books either. I have bought Orca books, but I usually had them go under author’s last name. However, I also believe it’s important to do what’s good for your community! Maybe instead of making them their own collection you could label the Orca and the series? Or maybe create a booklist (or a flipbook) of your Orca/hi-lo books so it is easier for your patrons to find.


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