Behind the Scenes in Collection Development: Selecting and Purchasing Adult Fiction

Ever wonder how our Collection Development Librarians review, select, and organize materials? Here's an example of the expert work our Collection Services Manager and selector for adult fiction, Kim Storbeck, employs when thinking about materials for our adult fiction collection: 

Reading fiction allows you to see your own world in a new way, or to peek into an entirely different existence, either real or imagined. Fiction is entertainment, but it can also be educational and therapeutic.  

Selecting adult fiction items for the library involves synthesizing a variety of sources, including reviews, publication calendars, advanced information from publishers and book vendors, social media, and entertainment news. We watch out for trends, such as the current rise of World War II related fiction, and the return of stories about witches and magic.  

While the focus is on popular titles, we do try and meet the wide range of interests and needs of our communities, as well as buying various formats for convenience and to meet intellectual and accessibility needs. These different formats include regular print books, large print books, audio books, eBooks, downloadable audio, and Playaway audio.  

The variety of books to choose from is truly amazing. We select all types of fiction, including literary fiction, genre (mystery, romance, science fiction/fantasy, westerns) fiction, graphic novels, and manga. There are lists of standard popular authors that we know that we are going to buy and that we get automatically from our major book vendors. We also buy fiction in Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese. Library patrons can make direct requests for material to be added to the collection, and we make decisions on what we think will be of broad interest to other patrons across the library district.  

Not everything will be for everyone, so we try to have a large selection for patrons to make their own choices for what they want to read for themselves. We hope you find your next great read in our collection.