Importance of Book Selection Policy in Library

Importance of Selection Policy:

Selection Policy enables a library to achieve quality, objectivity and consistency in the process of selection and ensures that resources satisfy the information needs of the customers. Some libraries have separate selection and  acquisition policies, while others put selection policy as a part of acquisition policy. Selection policy may include the following:

(i) Core Collection: It includes resources that are critical for fulfilling the objectives of the parent body and thus receive the highest priority.

(ii) Supporting Collection: Includes items that supplement the core collection, providing additional information and adding value to the functioning of the organization.

(iii) Peripheral Collection: Selection of core and supporting collections receive first and second priority respectively and peripheral collection is selected on basis of budget availability. They consist of costly online services that are rarely used, fringe publications that do not form part of basic needs of the users, and the items that can be obtained from other libraries on inter-library loan.

(iv) Kinds of Resources: Library’s policy must include specific guidelines for selecting different kinds of resources, such as general books, reference sources (such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories), serials, reports (both internal and external), online services, electronic resources, grey literature.

(v) Formats: All formats should be considered.

(vi) Online Sources: Access to online databases should be provided.

(vii) Inter-library loan and document delivery.

(viii) Project-bused Products and Services,: There may be a need for the purchase of information resources beyond the scope of resources covered under the laid down .selection policy to support the ongoing projects within the parent organization.

According to Drury, “A necessary part of selection process is the choosing titles from many valuable aids”. Selection of books is done through various tools like catalogues, leaflets (both print and electronic formats), journals, magazines, web sites, online services, CD ROMs. Many publishers bring out catalogues. Covering resources prior to their publication, current reviews, National bibliographies, Trade bibliographies, Subject bibliographies, best book recommended lists and core collections.

Selection policies have been replaced by material selection policies due to the increasing production of non-print materials (which cannot be ignored). With the new emphasis on non-traditional sources of information, librarians must content themselves with formats other than books. These range from other print media such as newspapers, periodicals and pamphlets or ephemeral collections to non-print formats like tapes, motion pictures and the like. The librarian needs to be aware of the multitude of communication forms available and also to be more knowledgeable and skilled to be able to make intelligent decisions regarding their unique contribution to the library goal of providing appropriate information forms to its patrons.


Reference Article:

  • Khan, A. M. (2009). Collection development, organization and services of central universities libraries in U P.
  • Drury, F.K.W(1930), Op.cit.

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