Young Adult Collections
A Parent’s Guide to Library Collections for Youth
Irving Public Library’s youth collections (also referred to as juvenile or children’s) are divided into collection areas based on the target age of the reader, the number of words in the book, reading level, and/or the subject matter. Items are placed in areas of the collection based on the publisher and author’s intended audience, and review source recommendations. An item’s placement in a collection allows for the organization of resources and provides viewpoint-neutral guidance to users. It is not intended to imply that every item in that collection will be of interest to or relevant to the collection’s intended user. Becoming familiar with the definitions and intended usage of each collection is a good way for parents and caregivers to stay informed and make the best decisions for the child and family in selecting reading material. This page is a guide to the collections intended for Young Adults (YA), also referred to as teen, selected by Irving Public Library’s Collection Development Librarian for grades 9th and up.
Young Adult Fiction
Ages: 9th grade and up
What: The main difference between juvenile fiction and YA fiction is subject matter, not necessarily reading difficulty. The stories focus on age relevant issues, stage of life (including social/emotional issues), as well as coming of age stories.
Why: Young adult fiction provides reading opportunities for enjoyment, engagement, empathy and learning about the world.
What parents should know: These books may include young adult issues such as romance, sexuality, gender identification, culture, and social issues with a broad range of viewpoints. Because of the wide range of maturity between 9th and 12th graders, not every book will be appealing to every teen and not every subject will align with all family values. This is why reading lists and librarian recommendations focused on a teen’s specific age and interests can be helpful.
Young Adult Non-Fiction:
Ages: 9th grade and up
What: This collection includes many topics of personal interest to teens as well as subjects for school reports and research projects. The writing style is often simpler and less complicated than nonfiction published for adults. This collection is arranged by subject in Dewey Decimal System order.
Why: This collection can assist teens with finding information for homework and school assignments. It also contains a broad array of subjects for teens to explore issues important to their personal knowledge and development, such as friend and family relationships, social media information, sexuality and careers.
What parents should know: Not every book will be of interest to every teen, and not every subject will align with all family values. Although non-fiction is generally informative, there are some fiction areas within non-fiction, such as in the 800s for literature of all languages, and the 741.5 for comic books, comic strips, and manga.
Resources for reviews and information on contents
- Library Catalog – examine the description of the book, check the attached review sources, review Novelist
- Read the book and/or the book jacket
- Ask for assistance at a library service desk
- Engage with LibChat on the Irving Public Library website
- Visit free websites that also review the materials/books (sign-up may be required):
- Common Sense Media | www.commonsensemedia.org/homepage
Library Card Holder options and circulation
Anyone with a library card can check out materials from the library. For a youth to obtain a library card, a parent must bring them into the library and sign for the card. The Irving Public Library’s policy has long been that the library does not operate “in loco parentis,” that is, staff do not employ restrictions and controls that are a parent’s prerogative. Options for parents who would like to be involved in decisions as to what their youth reads:
- Allow the youth to have their own card and insert the parent email in the registration form so that checked out items can be viewed by the parent.
- Allow the youth to have their own card and record the youth’s account number and PIN to check the youth’s library account.
- Only obtain one card and use this for the family.