Publishers Group West is stepping up its involvement in the children's book market with the creation of Publishers Group Kids. Patricia Kelly, PGW director of sales for children's and special markets, will head the new group.

PGW president Rich Freese said that while PG Kids won't have a dedicated children's sales force, there will be new children's book specialists. The company is looking to hire one rep to call on library/institutional accounts, two to call on mass merchandisers (there is already one rep in this market) and one to call on national accounts.

Kelly noted that while PGW has attended various library and educational conferences, it has never had someone call on libraries directly. "Libraries have been very interested in our books, and the growth at mass merchandisers has been very strong," Freese said. "We see a real opportunity."

PGW currently distributes for 12 children's publishers and is looking to add "appropriate publishers," Freese said. Its current children's clients include Groundwood Books; North Atlantic Books, Frog Ltd.; and Children's Press.