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?
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
Endangered Series #13: The English Roses
Endangered Series #14: Marvin Redpost
Endangered Series #15: Little Critter
Endangered Series #16: Spiderwick Chronicles
Endangered Series #17: Junie B. Jones
Endangered Series #18: Magic School Bus
Endangered Series #19: Dear America
Endangered Series #20: The 39 Clues
Endangered Series #21: Dear Dumb Diary
Endangered Series #22: The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley
Endangered Series #23: Horrible Harry
Endangered Series #24: Santa Paws
Endangered Series #25: Amelia’s Notebook
Endangered Series #26: A to Z Mysteries
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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