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Collection Development Manual 2005
Circulating Collection Formats

Social Sciences 300-399

Collection Goal: maintain collection size

Major Subclasses

Collecting Guidelines Selection Sources Weeding Guidelines Action Items
Class as whole Covers a very wide range of topics, generally in the following areas: stages of life, roles, relationships, society, habitats, and ethnic groups  Collect mostly for general readers, with some more specialized items suitable for informed laypersons Standard review sources

Publishers' Catalogs

Amazon, B&N

Check at 3 - 5 yrs

Only titles of continuing interest should be kept more than 10 yrs




Concentrate on abortion, immigrants, stages of life, sex roles and gender, women's studies, race/ethnicity, Afro-American studies, anthropology, sexual mores and preferences, marriage and the family, divorce, death, cultural histories  Heavy student use, so buy accordingly      


Very small collection, dominated by almanacs transferred from Reference      


Political Science


Collect books designed to help the layperson understand political processes, here and abroad -- political thought and ideology, forms of government, separation of church and state, civil rights, how to run for office, elections, immigration, slavery, foreign policy, espionage, diplomacy  Concentrate on U S  issues, and countries of interest locally     Heavy interest in this election year.  Buy accordingly.


Collect books on the U S  economy, and the economies of major powers  Concentrate on jobs and work issues, women at work, career guidance, money management for all stages of life, investing for lay persons, both beginners and advanced, real estate, poverty, taxation issues   Most titles out of date in five years  




Collect materials that help the layperson with common legal problems and situations -- taxes, legal actions, marriage law, social security, medicare, adoption, estate planning, bankruptcy, immigration, landlord/tenant law  Also LSAT preparation, material on the Supreme Court, and guides to Massachusetts corporation law  Refer more technical questions to Lawrence Law Library Mostly publishers' catalogs (Nolo, especially) Check at 5 years  


Public Administration


Collect civil service study guides, U S  government manuals, books on the Presidency, the FBI, war, military issues and history, defense Publishers' catalogs (especially Arco) for exam books    


Social Problems and Services


"Problem" books frequently requested by students  Collect at the student level -- living with diseases, AIDS, mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, info for and about people with disabilities, elder issues, child welfare, abuse, gun control, the environment  Collect lay titles on hospitals, health care policy, insurance, prisons  True crime is very popular -- buy most well-reviewed titles of local interest Publishers' catalogs and series Check at 7-10 years

Continually fill holes in the collection resulting from loss in this high use area



Collect materials about issues, methods, and trends in education, for the general public, and to help parents in educating their children -- special needs, learning disabilities, early childhood ed, helping children succeed in school  Also private school and college directories, test preparation guides, Titles for professional educators are bought only if they are of interest to the general reader

Publishers' catalogs (esp  Woodbine House, Barrons, Petersons)

Transfers from Reference

Keep test preparation guides 5 years

Materials on trends, methods until obsolete

History as long as condition warrants





Collect books on franchise opportunities, shopping, stamp collecting, entertainment industry, transportation   Check at 5 years  


Customs, Etiquette, Folklore


For school assignments -- books on costume, fashion, holidays, world customs and folklore  For the general reader, books on weddings, festivals and fairs, and etiquette Publisher's Catalogs Replace etiquette books when new editions come out

Others weed by use and condition




Last updated: July 07, 2014
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