Endangered Series #12: Arthur
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.
Arthur (Series) by Marc Brown
Beginning in 1978, this series about an anthropomorphic aardvark continues to this day.
The Case for Keeping: Arthur must be doing something right. It’s a character that has stuck around for decades now, spawning chapter books, early readers, and spin-off series. Also, how will kids understand this meme without the books?
The Case for Not: It seems like the overall love for the series has diminished, as evidenced by our large Arthur collection that doesn’t circulate much.
Refresh? If you’re looking to get something more current, there are new Arthur books being released all the time. Here are three recent examples:
My Verdict: We’re thinning the herd at my school – removing duplicates, paperbacks, and some of the titles that haven’t circulated at all.
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
Endagered Series #11: Animal Ark
Filed under: Reviews
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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