Selection Procedure

Identification of materials to be selected for the library collections follows a variety of paths.  The majority of materials to be added to the collection are identified in standard review sources by members of the reference staff.

Standard review sources include:

  •  AudioFile                     
  • Library Journal
  • Booklist
  • New York Times Book Review
  • Kirkus
  • Publisher’s Weekly
  • Reference and Users Services Quarterly

Materials are also identified via:

  • Lists for Maine authors maintained by the collection development staff;
  • Publishers’ catalogs and advertisements;
  • Standing orders. Materials which are automatically updated should be reviewed by the reference staff on a bi-annual basis to determine if the title continues to meet the needs of the Library in a print format;
  • Staff recommendations based on reviews in alternative review sources;
  • Patrons’ suggestions. Patrons who suggest titles will be notified of the decision whether or not to purchase. Titles purchased in response to a patron’s request will be made available to that patron. When a title is not purchased in response to patron request, the patron will be offered the opportunity to acquire the material via Interlibrary Loan;
  • Statutory mandates. This includes town reports and agency publications;
  • Weeding criteria. Materials damaged but still appropriate for the collection will be identified.

Each title is considered according to some or all of the following criteria: reviews; examination; authors; format; date; series; editions; publishers; price and holdings.

Once materials are identified, the bibliographic information is forwarded to the Director of Reader & Information Services Division or his/her designee for final purchase decisions. Once a decision to purchase has been made, members of the Collection Development Staff order and process materials. Every effort will be made to add all materials collected to the library Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC).

Selection Categories

Selection categories and level of collection are mandated by Statute 27 MRSA 2 (Appendix A) and Statute 27 MRSA 110 Sub-Sections 2 & 12 (Appendix B).

  • Comprehensive: Complete coverage with all identifiable non-ephemeral resources of the following items are defined in Statute 27 MRSA 2 (Appendix A):
    • Maine
    • State histories
    • County histories
    • Town histories
    • Family histories
    • State documents
    • Town reports
    • City reports
    • County Reports
    • Histories of countries
  • Broad coverage which would satisfy in-depth research needs.  Topics collected at this level include those specifically indicated in Statute 27 MRSA 2 and Statute 27 MRSA 110 Sub-Sections 2 & 12. The existence of extensive local collections on a specific subject area outside the State Library may influence the designation of a “strong” or a “basic” collection designation.
  • Basic: A collection of general materials that serves to introduce and define a subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere. It may include dictionaries, encyclopedias, selected editions and other reference works, historical survey, bibliographies, handbooks and other reference tools, in the minimum number that will serve the purpose. Subjects referred to in general terms within Statute, Title 27.
  • Minimal: Subjects not referred to within the specific mandate of Statute, Title 27 but which may be useful for responding to demand.
  • Out of Scope: Materials in this area are generally available through public and other library sources.  Included are popular fiction by non-Maine authors and children’s materials by non-Maine authors.

Dewey classes not specifically covered by this policy will be collected at the minimal level.

Next: Weeding Procedure