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Home / Our Collections / Youth Collection / Resources in the Collection

Resources in the Collection

Description of the Collection

The arrangement of materials in the Youth Collection is similar to that found in school libraries so that UNI education students can become familiar with this system as part of their teacher training.

This is an integrated collection in which format is typically secondary to content. Books, videotapes, DVDs, and CD-ROMs appear next to each other on the shelf. There is one exception.  Full-length audio books (CD's) are shelved separately.  They are located in the east hallway in the Youth Collection next to the Biography section.

The call number location, appropriate interest level for each item, content summary, and links for webbing are indicated in the item record in OneSearch!, Rod Library's online public access catalog.

Youth Collection Map

Reference Section

The reference section consists of two parts.

Professional materials, such as retrospective or specialized bibliographies, critical writings, and teaching resources are classified YRP (Youth Reference Professional).

Reference materials written for children and young adults are classified YR (Youth Reference). Children's almanacs, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and more specialized reference books are located here.

Reference materials may be checked out by obtaining a special permission form from the Youth Collection staff.

Picture Books

The picture books are classified YE and arranged alphabetically by author in the section of shelving near the windows. The collection represents the work of major authors and illustrators, many artistic styles and mediums, and diverse audiences.


All full-length fiction, including fantasy, historical fiction, and contemporary realism, are classified Y (fiction) . Titles in this section are selected primarily for students in grades 3 through 12. Titles are arranged alphabetically by author’s last name. Novels written in verse are part of the fiction collection.  Full-length novels written as poetry can be identified by using the subject heading, Novels in Verse. Most graphic novels are classified in Y 741 because of their illustrative format.


Both full-length biographies and biographies in picture book format are part of this section.  The call number has three lines: Y (Youth), B (Biography), and the first three letters of the subject's last name. The section is arranged alphabetically according to the last name of the person being featured.


All non-fiction materials are arranged according to the Dewey Classification System. Subjects are assigned numbers ranging from 001 to 999. Folklore is classified as 398, poetry as 821, and graphic novels as 741. 

Notable Books

Complete collections of the Caldecott Award and the Newbery Award books are displayed in glass cases near the Youth Collection offices.  Iowa book awards for children and young adults--the Goldfinch, the Iowa Children's Choice Award, the Iowa Teen Award, and the Iowa High School Award--are also on display. They do not typically circulate.  Additional circulating copies of these books are shelved within the various sections of the Youth Collection.

Unusual Formats

Books with pop-ups, extended pages, pull-the-tabs, and other unusual features are shelved behind the Youth Collection Service desk. They may be checked out by obtaining a special permission form from the Youth Collection staff.

Historical Collection

A collection of children's and young adult literature published prior to 1960 is on display on the northeast side of the Youth Collection, near picture books. The titles included in this section are no longer considered popular among young readers today, but they are retained here for those conducting historical research. There is an extensive collection of boys' series books from the first half of the twentieth century. Included in these series are the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift, among others. There is also a collection of autographed books by well-known authors and illustrators. 

Children's and Young Adult Magazines

Current issues of many children's magazines, are available in a shelving unit on the West side of the Youth Collection. The most current issues are displayed on the shelves. Back issues are also available and are stored within the same shelving unit. They can be accessed simply by lifting up the shelves. These resources may be checked out with special permission from the Youth Collection staff.  

Other Sections

The Youth Collection also includes small collections of books in Braille and children's books in other languages located on the west side of the Youth Collection near the Reference section. These resources are classified in the 800s range and are organized alphabetically by the language in which they are written. Braille books are arranged in shelflist order. Also in this section is the Watson Collection, a collection of books donated by the faculty and staff of the UNI College of Education in honor of Dr. Dwight C. Watson, Dean of the College of Education. These books celebrate diversity in all of its many forms.

Finding Materials in the Youth Collection

UNISTAR makes finding materials in the Youth Collection fast and efficient. Begin by going to the Rod Library Home Page and clicking the Books & More tab. Select the Advanced Search option located beneath the search bar. Limit your search to library materials in the Youth Collection by finding the field labeled Location and selecting UNI Youth from the drop menu beside it. From there you may perform an Author, Title, or Subject search.

An Author search will supply complete lists of specific authors' and illustrators' works. Perform this search by selecting the Author option from the drop menu located beside one of the search bars near the top of the page. To search for specific authors or illustrators enter surnames first, followed by first and middle names.

A Title search will locate specific series or single volumes in the Youth Collection. Perform this search by selecting the Title option from the drop menu located beside one of the search bars near the top of the page and type in the title of the volume or series.

A Subject search will locate any and all Youth materials catalogued under a given topic. They are helpful if you know what kind of book you need but not a specific author, illustrator, or book title. Perform this search by selecting the Subject option from the drop menu located beside one of the search bars near the top of the page and type in the subject in which you are interested.

The record for each item indicates location, call number, and availability.

Electronic Resources

UNI subscribes to several databases that will assist you in identifying and reviewing materials related to children’s and young adult literature. Databases you are likely to use include such useful resources as the Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database, Children’s Core Collection, Education Full Text, and ERIC. Access these databases by going to the Rod Library Home Page and selecting Databases A-Z in the Articles tab. All available databases are organized alphabetically.

UNI also hosts a number of databases specifically geared toward PreK-12 students and educators. Access these databases by going to the Rod Library Home Page and selecting  Research Databases by Subject tab. In the list, choose the bullet labeled PreK-12 Information Sources and then select the resource that best suits your purposes.

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