So maybe floating around in a giant pool of books is one of your fantasies. However, being slammed by lists and catalogs and more lists of upcoming titles is a daunting task, to say the least. Add to that the need to figure out how your current collection is circulating, which books have found a new forever home, and which series have gaps, and you’ve got the makings of a full-on meltdown.
Look, I am an extremely neurotic perfectionist, and even I have managed to accept this: Do the best you can in tracking books, but you will always miss at least one, and that’s okay.
Really, your ordering depends on your collection budget. If you’re working with something smaller, then decide what the focus of your collection is. Are you going to go by bestsellers? Add in a few titles teens in your system might not normally pick up? What is the goal of your collection? Is it to provide access to popular titles that teens might not be able to afford? Is it to expose them to new titles and new ideas? Is it a little of both?
Once you’ve figured out what you are ordering and why, then check out the resources at your disposal for upcoming books. They are legion. If your library subscribes to journals, that’s really helpful. I generally use School Library Journal, VOYA, and Ingram Advance. We also have access to reviews via our ordering platform, so that way I can check Kirkus. These resources will provide you with more mainstream titles from the big publishing houses.
I like using blogs and Goodreads Listopia for trending and popular titles. You’ll get an idea of how hyped a certain title is by checking these sources. Many YA-focused blogs host a meme called Waiting on Wednesday, which features a few books that those bloggers can’t wait to read.
Finally, I love using Twitter for new book knowledge. A lot of the authors and blogs I follow will announce new titles right away, or they will retweet book deals, cover reveals, or upcoming titles from other authors that I don’t follow. I’ve found a lot of awesome books this way. For example, I probably would never have picked up Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero if Kelly Jensen and Angie Manfredi and other rad librarians and authors hadn’t gushed about it.
So how do you manage all of these book titles, especially series with release dates that go into 2019? (Cassandra Clare has a level of pre-planning that I envy). Again, I’ll answer with an “It depends.” Whichever platform you use to order books may allow you to keep lists, prep early carts or batch orders, etc. Mine does not. Enter the spreadsheet.
Yeah, it’s not fancy, but it works. I keep a Google Sheet of upcoming YA titles and note the author, title, release date, ISBN, and any notes for myself (which branch to send it to, etc.). As I order books, I bold the ones I’ve ordered. Once they are actually at the library, they go to an “Ordered” spreadsheet. You definitely don’t have to do this last bit, but we’ve had issues where our orders go poof! and I have to try to remember what I ordered.
Those are just a few ideas for keeping things straight (ish) when it comes to building your collection. What resources do you use? How do you track which books you want to order?