Is “E” really for everybody? Picture books for older readers in public libraries


  • Mikki Smith



Picture books for older readers present challenges for libraries in terms of how best to provide access to them. These books often have an “E” on the spine to indicate that they are “easy” or for “everybody,” and share lower shelves with a far greater number of picture books geared for the preschool and primary grade audience. However, this classification by format might encourage older readers to pass over these materials. At the same time, questions remain about the effectiveness of housing these picture books with juvenile fiction, or of creating separate collections. This article looks at how the picture book as a format and picture book collections are defined, as well as the variety of ways in which a small sample of picture books for older readers are currently being managed in public libraries.