Instructional Materials Collection

I. Collection Description


To support the subject discipline methods courses for secondary school teacher preparation as well as the instructional programs and research needs of the faculty and students in the College of Education and Graduate School of Library and Information Science. These materials include children's and young adult literature, curriculum guides, textbooks, limited audiovisual items and software, and comprise two separate collections, the Curriculum Collection and the School Collection. The Instructional Materials fund is used for purchasing in both these areas.

History of Collection:

  1. Curriculum Collection: In 1980, a collection of textbooks and other media used in the training of teachers by the College of Education was transferred from the College of Education to the University of Illinois Education and Social Science Library. The transfer of this material was prompted by the upcoming 1981 visit of an accreditation team from NCATE. As part of the accreditation process, it was necessary for the curriculum materials to be maintained by the university library system. At the time of transfer, there had been no systematic acquisition of materials since 1972. Free materials were acquired from publishers on a sporadic basis during the years from 1972 to 1980.

    During the summer of 1980, materials were physically moved to the Education and Social Science Library. The initial transfer included approximately 7,000 volumes of material. The fall and winter of 1980-81 were spent in organizing these materials and ordering new materials for the collection. The College of Education supplied a permanent transfer of $3,500 for acquisition purposes. In February 1981, the NCATE accreditation team visited the collection in its library location and, other than citing a lack of space, found it satisfactory. 1981 and 1982 were spent weeding the collection and updating the materials. A massive campaign was undertaken to solicit free materials from textbook publishers and was quite successful. In 1983, cataloging of curriculum materials began. The intervening years had been spent in studying cataloging schemes in use elsewhere, eventually resulting in a locally devised classification scheme. By 1984, several hundred volumes of curriculum materials had been cataloged. By the year 2006, over 28,000 volumes of curriculum materials were cataloged while 30,000 remain uncataloged waiting for processing.

  2. School (S) Collection: The S-Collection (School Collection) was established in 1941. Its nucleus was from the Juvenile Collection, formed in the winter of 1905-06, to serve the needs of the Library School's new courses in reading guidance for children and young adults. A course of lectures was offered for juniors and seniors in the colleges of Education and Liberal Arts. In 1941, the S-Collection Reading Room was opened to serve primarily the faculty and students of the Library School and the undergraduates in the colleges of Education and Liberal Arts registered for the teacher-librarian courses. From 1941 to 1944, the S-Collection Reading Room was under the administration of the Library School. In 1944, the University Library took over administrative activities, while retaining an advisory committee from the Library School.

    The S-Collection numbered 3,000 volumes at the time of its founding. In 1945, a group of historical children's books was purchased to strengthen the collection. These books, some dating from 1830, were housed in the Bookstacks. In 1948-49, the S-Collection was transferred to the Library Science Library. In 1964-65, due to space limitations in the Library Science Library, the S-Collection was transferred to the Social and Behavioral Sciences Library (now the Education and Social Science Library). Selection responsibilities were retained by the Library Science faculty. In 1976, the Education and Social Science Library assumed complete responsibility for the collection, including selection, reference and physical maintenance. In 1980, the S-Collection was consolidated to make room for the Curriculum Collection transferred from the College of Education. . When the University of Chicago closed its Graduate Library School in 1991, the Center for Children's Books (which publishes the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, a publication which began providing high quality reviews of children's books in 1947 and continues to this day) relocated to the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at UIUC. The UIUC Library and GSLIS formed a partnership to add the formerly uncataloged books reviewed each year by the Bulletin to the Library's online catalog. In addition, the hundreds of books provided by publishers annually that are not reviewed by the Bulletin are acquired by the UIUC Library to create a record of children's literature published in the U.S. each year. Initially, approximately 3,000 current children's and young adult books were processed from the Center's rejected titles each year; currently that figure is closer to 4,000. These books reflect the true content of children's publishing since they include not just the high-quality books that are reviewed, but also the popular series books, the trendy manga, and other fads and fashions in children's book publishing. Current books are processed as part of the regular work flow of the UIUC Library. In 1993 the library was awarded the 58,000 volume collection of books from the Center for Research Libraries. Processing this uncataloged material is an ongoing process.

These collections complement each other in the resources provided to students in teacher training programs or library science courses.

Estimate of Holdings:

198,000 volumes, including:

  1. Curriculum Collection: 58,000 volumes of print materials, 300 kits or other non-print media
  2. School (S) Collection: 140,000 volumes, including 5,500 titles from the historical collection.

State, Regional and National Importance:

  1. Curriculum Collection: Despite the recent origin of the collection, it has national significance because of its older materials. Unlike most other state curriculum collections, historical (pre-1970) materials are retained. Doctoral research has been undertaken using this older material and many queries have been made regarding the accessibility of this historical collection.
  2. School (S) Collection: Of national importance is the S-Collection's extensive collection of historical children's books as well as its comprehensive collection of juvenile biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln. Due to the addition of the 58,000 children's books from the Center for Research Libraries in 1993, this collection is now the second largest collection of children's books in the United States. Only the Library of Congress is larger.

Unit Responsible for Collecting:

Education and Social Science Library.

Location of Materials:

  1. Curriculum Collection: Current materials (published during the past fifteen years) are located in the Education and Social Science Library. Retrospective materials of historical and/or research value (approximately 55% of the collection) are located in a storage area and are retrieved upon request.
  2. School (S) Collection: Current monographs and periodicals are housed in the Education and Social Science Library. Foreign language and less frequently used materials are located in two storage areas (one in the building; one off-site). The Historical Collection (1800-1920) is located in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Some non-English books are in the Modern Languages and Linguistics Library, the Asian Library, and the Slavic and East European Library.

Citations of Works Describing the Collection:

Curriculum Collection:

Directory of Historical Textbook and Curriculum Collections (Chicago: ACRL, 2005).

School (S) Collection:

O'Brien, Nancy P. (1996) "Treasures and Tribulations: Merging Children's Book Collections" Bookbird: World of Children's Books. 33(3-4): 104-107.

Special Collections in Children's Literature: An International Directory. 3rd ed.(Chicago, ALA, 1995).

O'Brien, Nancy P. (1994) "Children's Books Collection: Progress and Priorities" Focus (Center for Research Libraries) 14(5-6): 1-2.

Zubatsky, David S. "School (S) Collection: Materials for Children and Resources About Children's Materials Within the University of Illinois Library System: A Case Study." 1979. (Unpub.)

II. General Collection Guidelines


  1. Curriculum Collection: English is the primary language of the collection. Because of a strong emphasis on bilingual/multicultural materials, some western European and Asian language materials are included. For the teaching of foreign languages, textbooks are collected for French, German, Italian, Latin, Russian and Spanish.
  2. School (S) Collection: English is the dominant language of the collection. Materials in Western Europe languages are also collected in varying degrees of intensity. Materials in Slavic and Eastern European languages and materials in Asian and Middle Eastern Languages are collected only in cooperation with the Slavic and East European Library and the Asian Library.

Chronological Guidelines:

No restrictions.

Geographical Guidelines:

  1. Curriculum Collection: Primary focus is on the U.S.
  2. School (S) Collection: No restrictions.

Treatment of Subject:

  1. Curriculum Collection: Primary curriculum materials and textbooks appropriate for elementary and secondary education encompass the following subject areas: reading, language arts, literature, foreign language, social studies, history, psychology, anthropology, civics, economics, geography, general science, chemistry, physics, biology, ecology, general mathematics, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, computers, art, health, multicultural education and vocational education. In addition, some early childhood education, special education, and adult basic education materials are included. Music curriculum materials are generally located in the Music Library.

  1. School (S) Collection: Children's and young adult literature, both fiction and non-fiction, are collected. Included are children's classics, beginning-to-read books, picture books, works of folk literature and mythology, modern fantasy, poetry, contemporary realistic fiction, historical fiction, informational books and biography. Young adult materials are also available selectively in the University High School Library and the Undergraduate Library.

    The S-Collection maintains a selected list of children's authors and illustrators whose works are collected comprehensively. In addition, comprehensive holdings for juvenile biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln are maintained. The S-Collection also acquires books that appear on a selected group of award lists. A strong collection of alphabet books and wordless picture books is also maintained. The reference section of the S-Collection includes bibliographies, indexes, encyclopedias, and biographical and critical works about children's authors and illustrators.

    See for a list of comprehensively collected authors.

Types of Materials:

  1. Curriculum Collection: Textbooks; teaching guides; workbooks; curriculum guides; kits; microfiche; software; games; miscellaneous media; vertical file pamphlets; bibliographies and charts; and publisher and equipment catalogs are collected.
  2. School (S) Collection: Children's and young adult literature in fiction and non-fiction. Facsimile and microfiche collections of historical children's books are included. Non-print media is not intentionally acquired and items which are part of a programmed reading curriculum are selected for and housed in the Curriculum Collection.

Date of Publication:

  1. Curriculum Collection: No restrictions.
  2. School (S) Collection: No restrictions.

Place of Publication:

  1. Curriculum Collection: No restrictions. Most materials are published in the U.S.
  2. School (S) Collection: No restrictions. Most materials are from the United States and the United Kingdom.

III. Collection Responsibility by Subject Subdivisions with Qualifications, Levels of Collecting Intensity, and Assignments

Below is a table that lists specific subject subdivisions within the collection. Each row in the table lists a specific subject subdivision, followed by three columns noting: Collection Strength, Primary Assignments and Secondary Assignments. The Existing Collecting Strength column notes how well the existing collection covers that topic on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being very strong. The Primary Assignments column lists departmental libraries that have the greatest collection intensity of subject materials, respectively. In the case of 2 or more libraries listed, the collection intensity is comparable. The Secondary Assignments column list departmental libraries where additional materials may be found.

Instructional Materials Collection
Reading (basic readers, remedial reading) 4 Instructional Materials
Language arts (spelling, grammar composition, handwriting, speech communication) 4 Instructional Materials
Literature, drama 3 Instructional Materials
Foreign languages 3 Instructional Materials
Social sciences (social studies, history, anthropology, psychology, economics, geography) 4 Instructional Materials
Science (general, chemistry, physics, biology, ecology) 4 Instructional Materials
Mathematics (general, algebra, geometry, trigonometry) 4 Instructional Materials
Multicultural education 4 Instructional Materials
Health/physical fitness, primary classroom materials 3 Instructional Materials Applied Health Sciences
Art, primary classroom materials 3 Instructional Materials Art
Music, primary classroom materials 1 Music Instructional Materials
Vocational education 2 Instructional Materials
Special education 2 Instructional Materials
Adult basic education 1 Instructional Materials
Early childhood education, primary classroom materials 3 Instructional Materials
Curriculum guides 4 Instructional Materials
Computers, classroom technology materials 3 Instructional Materials
Alphabet books 4 Instructional Materials
Aesop's fables 4 Rare Book & Manuscript Library Instructional materials
Award winning children's books 4 Instructional Materials
Children's classics 4 Instructional Materials
Children's magazines 2 Instructional Materials
Beginning-to-read books 4 Instructional Materials
Reference materials 4 Instructional Materials / Library Science
Picture books 4 Instructional Materials
Folk literature and mythology, children's and young adult 4 Instructional Materials English/Anthropology
Fantasy 3 University High School / Undergraduate / Instructional Materials
Poetry, children's and young adult 4 Instructional Materials
Historical fiction 4 Instructional Materials University High School
Biography 4 Instructional Materials
Realistic fiction 4 Instructional Materials University High School
Non-fiction for children 4 Instructional Materials
Non-fiction for young adults 3 University High School / Instructional Materials


History of children's literature 3 English Library Science / Instructional Materials


Version Date: January 2007