How do you select the best books from among so many that are published each year? It is one of the questions most frequently asked librarians about their work. It is an understandable question. While laymen may not know that there are over 30,000 new titles published in the United States each year, not including revisions, they can recognize that the majority of librarians can afford to buy for their libraries only a fraction of what is published. So how do they get the best? The answer is not an easy one. After all, whole courses are taught in library schools on the subject. ‘Best’ for what purpose? Choice is not only a matter of quality. The purchase of a book must be measured against all the variables that different communities may present — whether academic, public, or school.
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