When cultivating collections, librarians assess the potential popularity of the titles under consideration. Additionally, they contemplate how fiction books improve reading skills or how nonfiction relates to the curriculum. These needs are important, but there is another aspect of collection development that should be considered. Collections should reflect the social-emotional growth needs of the community.
Children experience all types of stressors, and books can provide therapeutic support. Social-emotional titles focus on the five principles of social emotional learning: social awareness, self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, and relationship skills. Libraries that curate a collection that builds these skills will encourage and supplement children’s academic potential, interpersonal relationships, and mental health.