Liz Burns is familiar with techniques for promoting Large Print Young Adult books: she works at the works in the New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center. Here’s what she has to say about the importance of large print books:
Our customers include children and teens with low vision and reading disabilities, both who specifically request large print.
Parents and teachers don’t always know that large print is available, or how to find it in your catalog/library. Teens don’t always want to self-identify that they need large print because it requires disclosing the reason they need it.
To have your collection be a success, I would suggest letting local schools (especially the special ed staff) know that you have these books.
For those of us in public libraries, how can we promote our large print collections? Well, as Liz has mentioned, partnerships are important. It’s vital that young people who want or need the books are aware of them, even if they’re too embarrassed to ask you for certain titles.
Include large print titles in presentations, activities or book talks to local secondary schools and colleges. If your library provides services for older vision impaired people, try to find out if they have contacts within organisations for the vision impaired.
Which titles should you hold in YA Large Print? Plenty of popular titles to start out with. In time, once you’ve established contacts with teens who access Large Print, teens can help select stock and expand the collection. It might also be useful to have a some Large Print classics, as these are often on school curriculums.
One last note: at present my library has a relatively small selection of Large Print, but al the titles are borrowed frequently. Plenty of teens (and adult YA readers) want Large Print. It’s just a matter of connecting readers with our collections.