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Collection Development Manual 2009
Circulating Collection Selection

Selection Sources

Standard Review Sources -- Paper

  • Library Journal* - prepub alert, fiction and nonfiction
  • New York Times Book Review - bestseller lists only
  • Boston Globe
  • Kirkus*
  • Publishers' Weekly* - used by all selectors
  • Baker & Taylor Forecasts
  • Booklist - advance only
  • Horn Book
  • VOYA
  • School Library Journal
  • Video Librarian
  • Ingram Advance
  • Ingram Select
  • Audiofile
  • Billboard

*  Reference librarians read reviews and recommend purchase. Final decision for adult purchase made by Assistant Director. Children's titles selected by Children's coordinator. YA titles selected by Teen librarians

Standard Review Sources -- Online

  • Amazon - used heavily, especially top 100 and subject bestseller lists
  • Barnes and Noble - used heavily, especially top 100 list
  • B&T Link
  • Ingram iPage
  • Publishers' Weekly
  • New York Times
  • Library Journal
  • Internet Movie Database
  • CD Hotlist

Patron Title Requests/Staff Recommendations

All patron requests for new titles (last two years) are considered for purchase, or referred to Interlibrary Loan. Patron title requests come in on paper Materials Selection forms, online Materials Suggestion forms, reserve slips for titles not in the collection, or ILL requests that the Reference or ILL librarian feels should be considered for local purchase.

The librarian in charge of patron book suggestions obtains reviews and refers the suggestions to the Assistant Director. Requests for other formats are referred to the appropriate selector. Staff recommendations are given high priority, but follow the same procedures as patron requests, and must meet the same selection criteria.

Publishers' Catalogs

Since the majority of titles are not reviewed, publishers' catalogs are an important source of information, sometimes the only information on a title. Crucial to buying decisions is the reputation of the publisher in general, and the series or type of book in particular. New catalogs are received by or routed to the appropriate selector and to reference librarians, who check the database for holdings of desired titles, and make suggestions for ordering. Publishers' catalogs are particularly useful for new editions of standard titles, and to fill subject needs. New fiction is rarely bought from Publishers' catalogs, unless the author is a known quantity and demand is certain.

Subject Needs List/Missing Titles

Reference librarians keep a list of subjects that cannot be filled from the library's collection, or standard titles that should be in the collection but are not (or are not in sufficient quantity). The Assistant Director identifies and purchases titles to meet these needs.


Examination of the circulation history of potential weeds due to condition identifies heavily used materials that should be replaced with the same or similar titles.

Books in poor condition are referred by the mending technician and by shelvers to the selector for possible replacement.


Although bibliographies are often too dated to be used for current selection, they can be helpful to identify standard titles where the age of the material is not a factor. Lists of "Best Books" are checked, but the library has usually purchased most of these titles already. However, best books lists are excellent sources of titles for our Notable Books and Classics to Go displays.

Reserve Lists/Purchase Alert Reports/Other Reports

All reserves are monitored by the selector to identify frequently requested materials that are not in the collection in adequate numbers. Also, purchase alert reports from MVLC are regularly checked to identify heavily reserved titles. As of March, 2009, we are purchasing one reservable copy for every four book requests. Other reports (such as Lost and Paid, Claims Returned) identify possible titles for replacement.


Advertisements can alert selectors to possible sources of material on hard-to-find titles, and titles of specialized or local interest.

Gifts/Standing Orders

See appropriate sections: Gifts, Standing Orders

New England Mobile Bookfair/Other Retail Outlets

Periodically, selectors go to New England Mobile Bookfair to view and purchase the kinds of books that are not generally reviewed -  crafts, how-to-do-it, language instruction, travel, sports, etc. Other retail outlets are occasionally visited for specialized materials.

Vendors/Sales Representatives

Some titles are brought to the attention of selectors during sales visits from publisher's representatives.

Last updated: July 07, 2014
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