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Developing an Outstanding Core Collection: A Guide for Libraries, Second Edition
Carol Alabaster
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1040-5
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $62.00
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This title is also available for purchase as an e-book or as a print/e-book bundle.

200 pages
6" x 9"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1040-5
Year Published: 2010
AP Categories: A, C, E, G, I

Read an excerpt from the book now!

In this practical handbook, newly updated for 2010, Carol Alabaster focuses on developing a collection with high-quality materials while saving time and money. She addresses key collection development questions, including
  • What criteria are used to identify a core title?
  • What is the process for making selections?
  • How is a collection maintained and improved?
  • How are core titles tracked in the library's acquisition and circulation systems?
Packed with selection resources and sample core lists in seven subject areas, this soup-to-nuts manual will be useful whether you are starting from scratch or revitalizing an existing collection.
Table of Contents

Preface to the First Edition

Preface to the Second Edition

1 | The Philosophy of Adult Core Collections
2 | Developing a Core Collection Policy Statement
3 | Selecting a Core Collection
4 | Creating and Maintaining Core Collections
5 | Implementing the Core Collection
6 | Core Selection Resources and Works Cited
7 | Sample Core Lists with Selection Criteria and Sources


About the Author

Carol Alabaster is one of those “women who love books too much,” but an extremely fortunate one who has been able to indulge her passion full time as a librarian. She has more than thirty years’ experience working for public library systems in both New York City and Phoenix. During the thirteen years she was collection development coordinator for the Phoenix Public Library, she developed and implemented systemwide core collections. In addition to writing a weekly book review for the Arizona Republic for more than seven years, she was a National Book Award judge in 1982. She is retired from the Phoenix Public Library but continues to foster her love for books as a book club leader and a full-time reader.

“For those librarians who believe that quality books, enduring books, great books are still the heart and soul of the library, Carol Alabaster’s Developing an Outstanding Core Collection will come as something of a tonic... Altogether, this is a book that should be useful to many libraries, both public and academic.”
—Technical Services Quarterly

“Unlike too many professional works that seem to target only large or small libraries, this book speaks to libraries of all sizes, and the author does her best to be inclusive... For those that choose to create and implement such a collection, Alabaster's outstanding work should serve as an important aid in the process.”
—Reference & User Services Quarterly

"Alabaster has many criteria for core books, but key among them is that 'a core title must be well written and accurate but still lively enough to hold readers’ interest.' By that definition, Alabaster’s own book definitely belongs in a core collection."

"This timely update of Alabaster’s excellent 2002 book provides a thorough explanation of what core collections are and why your library might want to establish them ... Whether your library is one building, or incorporates several branches with floating collections, the principles are accessible and can be adapted to your particular situation."
--Public Libraries

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