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Unread 02-28-2012, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
2,616 posts, read 2,586,315 times
Reputation: 3334
Default How Do Libraries choose books to purchase

Does anyone know? Is there a committee or is it by recommendations from patrons or what?

I depend on my local library to get books cause I cannot afford to buy them at today's prices. My library ( Chandler AZ) has so many empty shelves and a lack of interesting, up to date items. Just wondering how they decide to spend their money. Is it a state thing, local thing or what? Does the upper grade librarian make the choice?

While in downtown Durham NC, in a very old delapidated library, I never saw so many interesting books I wanted to borrow. But, I was on vacation.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Colorado
4,179 posts, read 6,294,041 times
Reputation: 3934
Have you tried asking the librarians how they manage it?

It varies from library to library. They definitely should have a new books budget for each year and usually one or two people at the library are responsible for processing requests/suggestions from their patrons or they check all possible sources such as the NY Times Book Review, Publishers' Weekly, etc for what's new. And publishers or wholesalers will send their new list catalog to libraries each month.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 12:13 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
8,315 posts, read 3,774,960 times
Reputation: 6826
I live in a small suburban town in NJ, our library gets new books constantly, your town (which is larger) should be be getting the same benefits. Every library gets a budget each year: now do you all have brand new computers or any other new technology? If so, that's probably where most of the budget money went since computers are in demand & everyone doesn't have access to them. Libraries depend on the patrons' donations and state money. If you want to know who is choosing the new books that is a very easy question to call anonymously and ask the librarian & say you have some suggestions. For us it is the head librarian or the managerial one that chooses the new books. Also, consider with the way the economy is, their budget likely got cut as well. Since my town is smaller maybe that means more money to go around as well?

**Also, we have inter library loan program -- if there's a book they don't have on the shelf we can request it & they will get it from another library nearby for borrowing. Check to see if you have this option too.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
2,616 posts, read 2,586,315 times
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Yes, we have Interlib. loan. It took me 3 weeks to get a book that was only in Mesa, AZ, about 10 miles away. If it weren't for the gas prices, I would have gone there, gotten a card, and checked it out myself. I do think certain cities and towns appreciate libraries and books more than other cities. While living in IL, I could find new books on the shelves every week and the number was overwhelming.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton
9,342 posts, read 15,059,011 times
Reputation: 8983
On my library's website there is a page where you can suggest a book. I have only done this once, but received an email thanking me and letting me know that they were going to order it.
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Unread 02-28-2012, 08:29 PM
 
169 posts, read 289,051 times
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My library also has a page where you can suggest a book - up to 10 a year I think. It's not a guarantee they'd buy it though.
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Unread 03-08-2012, 07:42 PM
 
207 posts, read 176,663 times
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I can't my library sometimes. I requested a Stephen King book IT it's been a year but of course they only have a audio cd
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Unread 03-08-2012, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Texas
26,075 posts, read 19,249,379 times
Reputation: 29586
I have several librarian friends.
The ones who work at major universities have positions like collections, etc.
They do a lot of research to see what materials their audience wants to use.
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Unread 03-09-2012, 11:49 AM
 
1,997 posts, read 777,577 times
Reputation: 2535
I'm a (former) librarian. Here's the scoop on what we call "Collections Development"

All libraries should have a "Collections Policy", and you should be able to go to your local library and request a copy of their Collections Policy.

What it all boils down to is this: Libraries have a responsibity to develop an unbiased collection which serves the broad needs of the community they serve. When we choose sources for the collection - be they books, periodicals, or on-line databases, we look at reviews in a variety of professional and popular sources. We also respond to requests by patrons - but we have to be careful that responding to requests doesn't build a biased collection. If patrons request viewpoint A, the library has the responsibility to also represent viewpoint B in the collection.

Whole courses are taught on the subject in library schools, and there are many books and websites devoted to the topic.

To read a whole bunch of collections policies, look at this website: Acqweb's Directory of Collection Development Policies on the Web


If you want to look at the standard book, read:

Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management, Second Edition Peggy Johnson ALAISBN: 978-0-8389-0972-0

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Unread 03-09-2012, 11:58 AM
 
1,997 posts, read 777,577 times
Reputation: 2535
Ooops - I also wanted to put in a plug for help with library funding. I don't know if you all understand how much local governments are now struggling with funding, but they are, and library budgets are often the first thing to get cut. It's shocking how very small library budgets are. Ask your local library how you can help with this - by lobbying your city councilors, by raising money, or by donating money. It's so important!
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