The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Dallas Smith
For The Sentinel 

Library book exchange encourages young readers


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TREND SETTERS: Trends in young adult fiction have been shaped by such hits as the Harry Potter series and The Hunger Games.

On April 20, the Goldendale Community Library will hold its fourth annual Children’s Book Exchange from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The exchange is an Earth Day related event that encourages more youth to discover reading.

“[The Children’s Book Exchange] is a program to get kids exchanging books,” Community Librarian Naomi Fisher explains. The exchange is open to youth up to 19 years of age and encourages them to come exchange their old books for new reading material; and if they don’t have any books to exchange, they are welcome to select three books.

“The exchange is open to all youth, and don’t forget a bag to load up with goodies!” says Susan Kerwin, who is supervising the exchange program.

Parents are welcome to donate books to the exchange by going through their shelves and picking out books their children have outgrown. They can donate prior to the exchange and get a coupon for the same number of books they choose to donate. Friends of the Library also provides books for the exchange and encourages community members to do the same.

The marketing for children’s books is expanding as e-readers, tablets, and smartphones make it easier to buy, sell, and store. But with the new possibilities these technologies present also comes a great obstacle. Books are having to compete with games, apps, and other distractions that are available on the same devices, so children’s book publishers are trying to make reading books more appealing. Some ways that they’ve done this is by animating the stories, making them interactive, and creating partner websites that allow youth to be more involved in the fantasy worlds between the pages. The Goldendale Community Library has even reached out this way.

The library has made it possible to check out books online through a Kindle or similar e-reader. OverDrive, Axis360, and TumbleBooks are the three programs that they use to make adult novels and children’s books available electronically. Even with these attempts to capture children’s attention, according to the organization Every Child a Reader, around a third to a quarter fewer picture books have been published in the last few years. Despite the decline in picture books, young adult fiction is becoming increasingly more popular.

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There has been a trend of young adult fiction also appealing to adults as an effect of such books as The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Harry Potter. According to bibliographic information management company Bowker, 55 percent of young adult books are purchased by consumers who are 18 years or older. Some of the content related trends are dystopian fiction, mythology-based fantasy, multimedia series, focus on popular characters from all media, humor, paranormal romance (beyond just vampires), and urban fiction. With these trends the publishing companies keep trying to entice older audiences to buy, but the Goldendale Community Library is trying to coax young audiences to become avid readers.

“[The Children’s Book Exchange] is valuable to the community,” says Mary Nygaard, Co-Vice President of Friends of the Library, “and thank you to Susan [Kerwin] and Naomi [Fisher].”

For more information about the exchange or the possibility of donating books, contact the Goldendale Community Library at 773-4487.


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