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Description of the KGMS Library Collection
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Description of the KGMS Library Collection

General Collection

The library collection of King George Middle School consists of an age-appropriate mix of fiction, nonfiction, biographies, graphic novels, and manga series.  The fiction collection is organized and shelved by genre–similar to a bookstore model–to allow students to quickly find books that align with their interests and help students select books more independently by offering cues that help them find books they like on their own.

Motivating middle school students to read is sometimes difficult because they are not all interested in children’s literature books, yet neither are they ready for adult novels. Their interests, homework loads, and social activities are tough competitors for books. When they do read, they want to enjoy books about other teens that they can relate to on a personal level. When selecting fiction titles, the professional library staff select both middle-grade fiction and Young Adult fiction to fit the needs and interests of their students.

Middle-Grade Fiction

Middle-grade fiction refers to books written for readers between the ages of 8 and 12.  More sophisticated than a children’s book or picture book but not as emotionally or thematically advanced as Young Adult fiction, this is an age-based categorization that applies to all genres in the library.  There are certain characteristics that works of middle-grade fiction share, such as little to no profanity or graphic violence, romance limited to crushes and first kisses, and protagonists who are roughly between the ages of 10 and 13.

Young Adult Fiction

Young Adult fiction refers to books written for readers between the ages of 12 and 18.  While Young Adult books can be found in any genre, these books typically explore a character’s introduction and integration into an unfamiliar world, focusing on the protagonist’s experiences and self-reflection as they come to find their place within it.  Characteristics of Young Adult fiction can include profanity and graphic violence, as reflected by the maturity of the reading group.  Romance is allowed, but not eroticism.  Protagonists are typically between the ages of 15 and 18 years old, and the books are generally longer in length than middle-grade fiction, especially fantasy novels.

Young Adult fiction encompasses a wide range of plots, themes, settings, and characters who are created and written using mature and contemporary language in order to appeal to teen readers.  The lower end of Young Adult might feature characters who are just entering their teens and dealing with issues like friendship breakups and first crushes, while the upper end might follow protagonists on the cusp of adulthood, applying for college or full time jobs.

Young Adult Book Labeling & Notification

The American Library Association recognizes 12 to 18 year old individuals as Young Adults. Acknowledging this gap in the market, many current authors are writing specifically for this age group, and the books are labeled as YA (Young Adult) in our Library.

As professional library media specialists and teachers, it is apparent that many books could be considered too mature for some of our students. Young Adult titles may include information that some would consider sexually explicit.  Books in the library that are considered “Young Adult” are labeled with a yellow “Young Adult” spine label.

We respect the rights of parents and legal guardians to judge the maturity of their reader; therefore, all books will be made available to all students unless an Opt Out Form is signed and on file. A signed form is required if the parent or legal guardian does not allow their student to check out books that are labeled Young Adult from the King George Middle School library.  A signed form is applicable for the current school year only and may be turned in at any time during the school year.

The completed form may be returned to the student’s English teacher or the KGMS main office.  A note will be made in the student’s library account to alert library staff of the restriction.

The Young Adult Opt-Out form can be accessed here.

Information about sexually explicit materials and a divisionwide list of titles can be accessed here.