100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Endangered Series #11: Animal Ark

Popularity comes, popularity goes. As librarians we’re always balancing between what will circulate like crazy and what we need to have in the collection. And we’re not the Library of Congress – we can’t (and shouldn’t) keep everything.

An endangered series is one that appears to be waning in terms of popularity. But popularity isn’t everything. Should it stay, or should it go? Or think of it this way – if you were starting a library today, would this series make the cut? Let’s discuss.


Animal Ark (Series) by Ben M. Baglio

Beginning in 1994, this series about a vet clinic featured a rotating cast of authors writing under the Ben M. Baglio pseudonym.

The Case for Keeping: See basket full of kittens (above). The job of veterinarian continues to place very high in the What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up rankings. Interest in stories about animals is enduring.

The Case for Not: The series ended in the early aughts, and those paperbacks are barely hanging on. New series have arrived that tread the same ground. The eush (that’s supposed to be short for “usual”).

Refresh? Unlike many popular series, this one has not had a cover refresh. However, there some solid read-alikes out there for fans of vet fiction. Here are a few:

My Verdict: Based on condition and popularity, we’ll be weeding this series soon. Always a bit sad, but what are we going to do, add them to the canon? They have served their purpose, and served it well. Thank you, Animal Ark.

What are you doing with this series at your library?


Endangered Series #1: The Boxcar Children

Endangered Series #2: The Hardy Boys

Endangered Series #3: American Girl

Endangered Series #4: The Baby Sitter’s Club

Endangered Series #5: The Bailey School Kids

Endangered Series #6: Nate the Great

Endangered Series #7: Cam Jansen

Endangered Series #8: The Kids of the Polk Street School

Endangered Series #9: Pony Pals

Endangered Series #10: Little Bill

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. I’ve got 3 on the shelf for browsers and another 20 or so in a back room waiting for that one kid who gets into them and wants to read the whole series. It’s been about 6 years since that last happened, though, so these are going to be gone in the next round. Thanks very much for the read-alike suggestions. Interestingly, I can still move Puppy Place books regularly.