Children’s Book Collection

The Children’s Book Collection encompasses a wide range of genres for children, including fiction, picture books, fairy tales, folklore, poetry, and rhymes, as well as nonfiction books designed to introduce readers to the world around them. The collection includes texts tailored to early readers (E); children, which includes audiences under 12 years old (J); and young adults over 12 years old (S)

The scope of the collection dates back over 100 years and ranges to contemporary works, including those reflecting more diverse perspectives and providing representations of children of color and LGBT characters. The Children’s Book Collection also has a small selection of modern Spanish-English picture books. Other collection highlights include selected Newbury Medal recipients from 1923 to present, Caldecott Medal recipients from 1938 to present, and Coretta Scott King Book Award recipients from 1969 to the present.

Using the Collection

Early readers, children’s, and young adult books in the Children’s Book Collection can be found in the open stacks on the fourth floor of the Library near the quiet study area across from the main elevators. 

Finding books

Items in the Children’s Book Collection can be found through OneSearch. There are three sections: fiction, fiction early readers, and non-fiction. Most materials may be borrowed for 16 weeks (students) up to one year (faculty).


Children’s literature books are arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name and identified by a letter and number combination. Each book is designated with J (for audiences under 12 years old) or S (for young adults over 12 years old). 

Early Readers

Children’s stories and picture books of various formats used to teach and foster literacy are arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name and identified by a letter and number combination. Each book is designated with E for early readers. 


The nonfiction books in the Children’s Book Collection reflect Education curriculum dating back to San Francisco State’s earliest years as a vocational school for teachers. These materials are arranged using the Dewey decimal classification system, a system that is used in public and school libraries so that books on the same topic are shelved together for easy browsing.

Dewey Decimal Classification System

Dewy Number Kinds of Books
000-099 almanacs, encyclopedias, dictionaries, fact books, and languages
100-199 color, ghost stories, imagination, and senses
200-299 dream interpretation, legends, mythology, and religion
300-399 civics, cultures, fairytales, folklore, holidays, and money
400-499 alphabets, bilingual books, dictionaries, and languages
500-599 STEM: science, math, chemistry, biology, weather, rocks, and plants
600-699 cookbooks, health, transportation, and animals
700-799 arts, crafts, games, hobbies, music, media, and sports
800-899 anthologies, jokes, nonsense literature, plays, poetry, and short stories
900-999 Biography, California and global history, flags, and geography

Below the Dewey Decimal number, there is a letter and numerical digit (s) combination reflecting the author’s last name as well as a designation or S.


For questions related to this collection, contact Meredith Eliassen.