THE FAIR GARDEN AND THE SWARM OF BEASTS: The Library and the Young Adult by Margaret A. Edwards

THE FAIR GARDEN AND THE SWARM OF BEASTS: The Library and the Young Adult

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Controverting: Jared Bean's 1773 advice to stave off the teenage swarm, the former head of young adult work at the Enoch Pratt Free Library tells how she sought them out for thirty years and would have others serve them now. Much of what she tells of Pratt practices (in-service training included home reading of up to 300 tires) and programs (book fairs in school libraries, horse-and-wagon forays into poor neighborhoods) has appeared-previously and some of it has more historic interest than present applicability. And while Mrs. Edwards would reach out to the inner city child, she wouldn't hook him with non-library, related activities. In a similarly traditional vein are most of the books she cites as useful--and utility in its larger sense of guidance is her criterion. What carries particular conviction are her remarks on administration and supervision (applicable to all library situations); her list of library failings re young adults based on the Bundy report (including the attack on trying to teach all students to use the catalog that shook up the San Francisco ALA); and, concomitantly, her strong support for a continued YA specialty and for readers' advisory work generally. The sizable appendix features pointers on book selection, publishing book lists and writing annotations, preparing and delivering book talks, conducting discussion groups, arranging displays, etc. For practical advice, on the one hand, and inspiration, on the other, the book serves well; some readers may, however, leave Mrs. Edwards on her moderate middle ground.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1969
Publisher: Hawthorn