Endangered Series #27: Encyclopedia Brown
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.
Encyclopedia Brown (series) by Donald Sobol, illustrated by Leonard Shortall
This mystery chapter book series began back in 1963 and continued all the way in 2012 with the 28th book, Encyclopedia Brown and the Soccer Scheme.
The Case for Keeping: I wouldn’t call the mystery chapter book space crowded these days. A lot of older series are still hanging around on shelves. Ditching this series could potentially leave a small hole in the collection for this genre.
The Case for Not: How have these circulated at your school lately? Also, considering the series began in the 60s, it’s safe to say things are a bit dated.
Refresh? This series has seen more cover updates than most, with the most recent refresh taking place in the 2010s:
My Verdict: We pulled our copies a while back and haven’t replaced them. A school library isn’t the Library of Congress!
How are you handing this series in your library?
Filed under: Endangered Series
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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