Access to the College Green area of campus will be restricted until further notice. PennCard holders and some Penn affiliates may enter and exit Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center through the Rosengarten Undergraduate Study Center on the ground floor, and may enter and exit the Fisher Fine Arts Library through the 34th Street entrance to Meyerson Hall. See our Service Alerts for details.

Collection Development

Much of PLCE’s work is based in public school libraries, where we partner with community and school groups to build robust collections of diverse, engaging, and high-quality books that are responsive and relevant to all in the school community. We apply standard collection management strategies to keep school libraries responsive and relevant to students’ curricular and recreational needs through balancing purchasing of 1) new and compelling books 2) books that need replacing due to high use 3) and demand-driven acquisitions based on requests from students, staff, and administration.

Library staff sorting and processing books for the library's collection

To build collections intentionally, we regularly research current trends in children’s and YA literature, while also analyzing collections data to determine which areas need updating. The picture book and young adult collections that we build center identity, social-emotional learning, and social justice. In addition to building these physical collections at school libraries, we also curate lists of children's book recommendations and related interactive resources that anyone can access online.

Our close attention in reviewing titles:   

  • Helps us build programming for partner schools and develop resources like our read-aloud guides for families.    
  • Informs book-buying efforts for our school and community partners     
  • Allows us to develop lists in response to teacher/partner requests and build donation request lists    
  • Keeps us grounded in our work, up-to-date on trends in the world of kidlit, and keenly aware of the fact that children's literature holds a special capacity for storytelling.

Resources for Families, Educators, and Library Volunteers

Poster for virtual shelves website with "welcome to the virtual shelves!" and three digital avatars of library users

Virtual Shelf Project

COMING SOON. Explore curated collections of children’s books and activities, covering themes like art, wellness, culture, and joy! Each theme is presented by a unique character based on a Philadelphia literacy champion or storyteller.

Photograph of a stack of books used for read aloud exercises

Read Aloud Guides

COMING SOON. This guide features sets of themed books, many of which have read along questions, discussion prompts, and activities.