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Book/Material Selection

Book and Material Selection

Responsibility for Selection and Maintenance of the Collection

The selection and maintenance of the library’s collection lies administratively with the Library Director, who delegates to appropriately trained and skilled staff members.

The Chesterfield County Public Library manages the selection of materials through a coordinated system of shared responsibility among a specially trained selection team. Selectors make choices based on a thorough knowledge of community interests, needs and current library holdings.

Selection Criteria

Selectors use their subject knowledge and expertise in combination with the standards listed below to select and evaluate materials for the collection. Gifts and purchases are selected for the collection using the same criteria.

  • Significance and/or usefulness to the community
  • Evaluation presented by critical reviews
  • Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment: clarity, accuracy, objectivity, and organization of information
  • Reputation and authority of author, artist, producer or publisher
  • The contribution the work makes to a diversity of viewpoints
  • Currency or timeliness of information
  • Production quality and suitability of physical format for library use, including issues related to durability and possible obsolescence of format
  • Relationship to existing material in the collection
  • Cost and availability
  • Popular demand as related to above criteria

In addition, electronic materials are also subject to the following selection criteria:

  • Accessibility, both in the library and remotely
  • Quality of access relating to product’s ease of use and availability of online help Currency and frequency of product maintenance and updating

Suggestions for Purchase

The library encourages input from the community concerning the collection. A suggestion for purchase may be made in person or online, please click here. All suggestions are subject to the same selection criteria as other materials and are not automatically added to the collection.

Placement of Materials

Once materials are selected for purchase, the selector is responsible for determining the number of copies purchased and the branch placement of each copy. Due to budgetary and space constraints, a copy of each selected title cannot be placed in each branch. Placement of materials is determined using a countywide approach to create a comprehensive collection of materials system wide. Chesterfield County Public Library provides delivery services between branches to allow customer access to multiple branch collections. Distribution of materials is determined using the following factors:

  • Significance and/or usefulness to the branch community
  • Previous demand in each branch for similar subject, genre or author
  • Anticipated demand for material based customer requests
  • Support of upcoming programs, advertising or other library-generated interest
  • Relationship to existing material in the branch collection

Items in good condition are subject to permanent transfer to other branches as the needs of each branch community and each branch collection evolve.

For more information on donations, visit our donations page.

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