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Eye Appeal

When choosing things we want to read, the appearance of books is important.  This is especially true in children's literature.   Publishers and retailers know this -- new books tend to have bright colors and are specifically designed to attract attention.  This affects how children's perceive the book. 

A worn-out book can be perceived as less attractive to read, especially to children.  While grownups, (at least avid readers) might  look at a well-used book as an indication that it is probably a popular book and hence a good read, children are attracted to bright colors, pictures, and a "new" look. In many cases, this is actually what drives book selections by students.

In a children's library media center, many of the older books were published at a time when the cover wasn't as important a consideration as it is today. Often, these books are "classics" or noteworthy -- that is why they are still in the collection.  The "eye appeal" of the books in a children's library is an important consideration.  The following is suggested to help maintain a children's book collection:

  1. Identify books that are serviceable, but look old and worn.

  2. Look to see if new copies are available and if the graphics are better. If possible, upgrade to new editions. If not, maintain a listing of books to consider for upgrading should circumstances permit.

  3. If books are not replaceable, mark the book (on the barcode tag if this will not interfere with the circulation scanning system, on the inside front page, upper right corner if the notation will create problems for the circulation system) 
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    OP for out of print

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    C for curriculum related

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    A for award winning (I would not write down the specific award)

  4. Old books (over 15 years) are kept if space allowed.

  5. Books that are worn or that are old and have plain covers, but still in good, usable condition would be candidates to cleaning and recovering.

  6. Students would be enlisted to create new covers for books that are identified for recovering.
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    Art classes or other subject areas would be encouraged to create covers for books.

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    Student created covers would have to clearly feature the titles of the books and author(s) and illustrator(s).

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    While a variety of art styles and mediums could be considered, computer technology might also be used to generate colorful, student centered covers that increase "eye-appeal."

  7. A committee of students, teachers, parents, and the LMS would be formed to select which designs will be utilized for the new book covers.

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