From the Director's Desk
One of the most interesting parts of my job as Library Director is being involved in the selection of materials for our Library District. We are continuously selecting new books and new non-print resources, based on the needs and interest of our communities. We do this using several grounding principles:
- We don’t have large enough buildings to buy or to keep everything that would be nice to have.
- We are also limited by our budget and by our responsibility to the taxpayers of our District.
- We want to appeal to many different interests, reading preferences and points of view. We strive for a “balanced” collection.
- We need to offer quality resources for community members of all ages, in a variety of formats.
- We have the ability to support specific needs through Inter-Library Loan or other services if our collections do not have the requested items.
That’s the general idea in theory. Here’s how it is actually put into practice. Staff members, including myself, spend hours each month poring over journals of book reviews for upcoming releases. We follow blogs, track books discussed in the media, and check best-seller lists. We take suggestions from our patrons: best-selling authors, new DVD releases, award-winning titles, etc. We check how the resources we already have are circulating, and we monitor our shelves for currency. It’s an on-going process to try to find that sweet spot between fiscal limitations and the desire exactly what people want at the moment they want it. We also have to decide how to divide the resources between three buildings.
So, how are we doing? Are you pleased with the resources we offer, or do you have suggestions? I’m always happy to discuss our selection process with you. You can also check out the formal Collection Development Policy on the library web page at https://eapld.org/about/policies/.Peggy Dean, Director