The Youth Collection, designed for the adult study of children's and young adult literature, contains more than 20,000 trade books, related reference sources, and a growing number of materials in electronic formats. Although a small historical collection is maintained, the focus of the Youth Collection is on recently published materials representing many genres, curriculum areas, and grades PK-12.

Staff are responsible for development of children’s/young adult materials, providing reference service for patrons using those materials, providing bibliographic instruction for patrons using those materials, maintaining and evaluating the collection, and serving as a professional resource for Iowa educators.

About the Youth Collection

Children's books in a University Library? You bet! This excellent collection of children's and young adult literature includes the newest and best in the field.

Although the Youth Collection has been developed primarily for use by UNI students, faculty, and staff, others are welcome. However, children must be accompanied by an adult who is using the collection. A UNI identification card is required to check out materials.

Textbooks, curriculum guides, and other instructional materials for school programs are available in the College of Education's Curriculum Laboratory, a division of Instructional Resources and Technology Services, Schindler Education Center.

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.

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

Youth Collection floor plan

Finding Materials in the Youth Collection

OneSearch makes finding materials in the Youth Collection fast and efficient. You can search the Youth Collection directly from the Youth Collection homepage.

You can also use Advanced Search to search by Author/Creator, Title, or Subject:

An Author/Creator search will supply complete lists of specific authors' and illustrators' works.

A Title search will locate specific series or single volumes in the Youth Collection.

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. 

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 DatabaseChildren’s Core CollectionEducation Full Text, and ERIC. Access these databases by going to the Rod Library Home Page and finding Databases A-Z. All available databases are organized alphabetically.

UNI also subscribes to research databases specifically geared toward PreK-12 students and educators. Access these databases through Databases A-Z. In the Subjects dropdown, choose "PreK-12 Information Sources" and then select the resource that best suits your purposes.

UNI students have access to additional PreK-12 databases through Iowa AEA Online. If you're in a teacher preparation program and don't know how to log in to these resources, the Youth Collection staff can help you out.