Materials Selection

The materials selection portion of the collection development policy should give the following information.

Who is responsible for selecting materials?  Typically, the library staff is responsible for selecting materials.  This is because the staff is most aware of the needs of the community regarding library materials.  In larger libraries, a number of different staff members may have responsibility for selecting materials.  In smaller libraries, the director may do all of the selection.  In some school and college libraries, faculty departments may also have some responsibility for selecting materials.  However, this needs to be coordinated by the library staff.  Whatever system is used should be clearly defined by the collection development policy.


Criteria for selection.  The criteria that your library will use in selecting materials will depend in large part on the mission of the library.  Some typical criteria include:













Special Selection Processes. 

In almost all libraries, there are some specialized selection processes.  For example, almost all libraries purchase magazine subscriptions, rather than purchasing periodicals issue by issue.  Some libraries also rent popular materials rather than purchasing them.  This system may allow them to get multiple copies cheaper and eliminates the problem of disposal of multiple copies after the material is no longer popular.  Libraries may also have some standing orders for books, such as general almanacs, that they purchase each year.  If your library is using such services, they should be addressed in your collection development policy.

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