Book Selection Theories

Book Selection Theories: There are some principles of selection of documents which guide the librarian in making a judicious choice of a document and thus help to develop a meaningful collection of documents in the libraries.

i) L. R. McColvin: Theory of Book Selection (1925): According to L. R. McColvin books in themselves are nothing. They have no meaning until they are made serviceable by demand. So he gives much stress on demand and gives stress on the selection of only those documents which are demanded by the users for their information needs.

ii) Drury: Book Selection (1930): It states that the right book will be provided to the right reader at the right time. In this principle the reader is the central theme. A document is right or otherwise is to be provided when the user needs it for use. The selector should know the users and their requirements. He should select only that material which caters to the informational educational and recreational needs of the users.

iii) Haines: Living with book (2nd ed, 1950): The first edition of Living with Books appeared in 1935. It was one of the first true textbooks aimed at training librarians in the art of book selection. Although Haines died in 1961, her legacy continues to be felt. Through the 1970s, Living with Books remained the standard text on book selection, and it is still referenced on many collection development course syllabi.

iv) Ranganathan: Library book selection (1952, reprint 1990): The first three laws of library science enunciated by Ranganathan are also helpful in formulating the principles of selection of the documents for libraries.

v) Dewey’s Principle: According to Dewey, the library should select the best documents within the finance available, which may satisfy the information need of the maximum number of users.

            Besides the above, we may mention Rovert Broadus’ Selecting Materials for Libraries, 2nd ed. New York: H.W. Wilson Co, 1981 and Building Library Collections: 6th Ed. By: Arthur Curley, Dorothy M. Broderick, and Published: January 1985 as important books on book selection.


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