Selecting

Questions to Ponder:

  • How do you decide how many books versus online databases to purchase?
  • What are three selection criteria you use when purchasing? When your purchases arrive, do you then evaluate your decisions using these criteria?
  • What are the characteristics of an outstanding collection?
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6 Responses

  1. I enjoyed your TLA presentation very much.
    My responses to these questions are all “I don’t know how to make time for any of this.” i would enjoy my job and the collection development so much more if I could find time to actually read any reviews. Any suggestions out there? Thanks!

  2. When I began adding graphic novels to my school’s collection (my school had none) I copied the list of books from the nearby library that was filling my Inter-Library -Loans (after first talking to the librarian.) I also asked the students what graphic novels / series they were interested in.

  3. I enjoyed your TLA session. Thanks to you, I now have a subscription to Horn Book and Book Links. I realized I was over-dependent on School Library Journal. Thank you!
    In response to the first two posts: Time? Always a problem. I enjoy working on book orders from home. As a teacher, I always brought work home, so I guess I’m used to it. I also like working on book orders when I am not continually interrupted.
    In response to second post: Be careful and always check the age labels on graphic novels. Some are quite “graphic.” I never get OT (Older Teen) for a middle school library. Asking kids is always a good start, but double-check.

  4. I am a new elementary librarian in San Antonio, TX. My school library had one librarian for the first 27 years, so date of publication has been a big factor for me in both selection and weeding. Reviews are also critical. If I haven’t personally seen the item (or others by that author), I scan several reviews in Follett’s Titlewave. I also use lists, such as state awards, science & math award lists, and Peggy Sharp’s recommendations as starting points. Third, I look at the relevance to the curriculum and the strength of our collection in that particular area. Great books end up on the “maybe” list because others are needed more critically to fill gaps in the collection.

    I am blessed with a highly competent full-time assistant, which allows me some time to sit in the office and review purchases when they arrive (as I’m checking them with the invoice and writing the price on the title page). Most get a cursory review, but some get a little more attention. I often buy one or two from a series to evaluate closely before purchasing the entire series.

    Certain students are an excellent source of recommendations. I’m impressed by how widely a few of them have read. When these (mostly boys) ask me for a book we don’t have, I listen closely and take note of the titles so I can consider these for future purchase.

  5. How do you decide how many books versus online databases to purchase?

    These are 2 seperate pots of money, so it’s not an issue.

    What are three selection criteria you use when purchasing? When your purchases arrive, do you then evaluate your decisions using these criteria?

    What collection need am I meeting, and is it a priority? How current is this material? How deep/biased is it? And I do evaluate the books when they get in, but mostly I’ve done enough homework to know that they will work.

    What are the characteristics of an outstanding collection?
    The collection meets the needs of the diverse users, and the age of materials is appropriate to the need (some areas need to be more current than others).

  6. I am curious to hear if library budget reductions have changed purchasing patterns. Are only books being purchased? Are e-books or databases being purchased or less?

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