Services for Children's Librarians
Children's and Young Adult Book Review
The Southern Maine Library District receives almost 3,000 children's and young adult review books from over 75 publishing houses each year. These books form the Maine Examination Collection of Children's and Young Adult Books. Age levels range from preschool through senior high school.
Book Review Forms
- Book Review Form [PDF, 201 KB] Same as below but one review per page for easier reading and filling out. This file and below requires the free Adobe Reader.
- Book Review Form.pdf [PDF] Note: When selecting the age level(s), hold down the Shift key and click with the cursor to select ages that are next to each other (such as Preschool, K-3). To select ages that are not next to each other (such as 4-6 and Adult/Professional), hold down the Control key and click with the cursor.
Monthly Meetings and Schedule
Open to registered reviewers from school and public libraries. Meetings are free of charge and pre-registration is not required.
All meetings run from 10:15 a.m. to noon at Portland Public Library, Room 316, 3rd floor, unless otherwise noted.
Meetings postponed due to inclement weather will automatically be held the following Wednesday. If weather is again a problem, meetings are cancelled until the following month. Call the SMLD (871-1766) answering machine after 7:00 a.m. to check on cancellations.
Guidelines for Book Reviewers
What is the Maine Examination Collection?
The Maine Examination Collection was formed to assist librarians in book selection. The Collection is also used to develop the Cream of the Crop Collection, a highlight of the statewide children’s literature conference Reading Round-Up. It includes Maine and New England books, picture books, fiction, non-fiction, professional titles, foreign language books, reprints, and audiovisual materials. Each year about 3,000 hard cover and paperback review copies are received from over 50 publishers. Age levels range from preschool through senior high school.
Where is the Collection Located?
The Collection is housed at the Portland Public Library in Room 416, 4th floor.
Who is Eligible to Use the Collection?
Only librarians who work with children in public or school libraries are eligible. New reviewers must register with the SMLD Office. Additional uses of the collection or review requests made by others such as faculty or authors must be approved by the District Consultant.
Is it Necessary to Attend the Monthly Book Review Meetings?
Reviewers are expected to attend the meetings regularly to share their reviewed books and to participate in the discussions.
What is the Review Loan Period?
The borrowing period is one month. Reviewers who consistently keep books longer may have their borrowing privileges revoked. The loan period may be extended under special circumstances after consulting the SMLD Office.
Southern Maine Library District, 5 Monument Square, Portland, ME 04101-4072
- Tel. 871-1766 or 1-800-649-7696
- Email: Elaine Bissonnette
Featured Link: Cream of the Crop
- Cream of Crop - Books are reviewed at Southern Maine Library District monthly book review meetings by local librarians. A "Cream of the Crop" Collection of the best titles published in the previous year is prepared for the Maine Regional Library System's Reading Round-Up Conference in April. The Cream of the Crop list contains about 120 books from preschool to high school age levels. The list includes titles, authors, recommended age levels and annotations. Award books are listed on the right sidebar.