What if I'm not finding what I'm looking for on the shelf?
Let us know! You can check the catalog online. Please see the Ask Here desk or call the library for assistance locating materials. If an item is not available within our consortium, it may be available from another library through Interlibrary Loan. You can also submit a Purchase Suggestion form at any time.
How is the collection managed?
The library's collection is carefully and constantly curated using industry-standard best practices and the expertise of professional library staff. The library also solicits input from a variety of stakeholders via purchase suggestion forms, comment cards, community surveys, and in-person conversations to evaluate community and collection needs.
Collection maintenance helps create a vibrant, appealing collection that meets the community's needs. It frees up shelf space for the constant arrival of the new materials -- more than 33,000 items are added annually. It makes shelves easier to browse, makes items more accessible, and identifies areas that need updating or replacement of items in poor condition. It ensures the collection is in excellent shape for the upcoming renovation project, during which time our everyday maintenance may be disrupted.
This work relies on the judgment of professional selectors. They use industry-standard tools and national best practices for data-driven decision making. These tools help identify types of materials such as:
- outdated information in areas of rapid change such as medicine, law, and technology
- items that are no longer being used
- non-current editions
- excess copies of previous bestsellers
- items in poor condition
All materials are reviewed by the selector assigned to that area of the collection in order to assess replacement and mending needs.
What tools do you use to make collection-related decisions?
The library uses industry-standard tools in addition to the framework set forth in the library's Collection Development Policy. These tools include:
- The CREW manual (provides criteria regarding condition, use, and currency of content for specific areas of the collection)
- CollectionHQ (generates data including last circulation date, over and understocked subject areas, and turnover rates)
- Orange Boy community survey data from 2012 and 2018 (community analysis and survey of library use)
- Federal data provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, state data provided by the State Library of Oregon and other national data from industry groups such as the Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association.
What happens with materials after they've been deselected?
Withdrawn items are offered to the Friends of the Salem Public Library for resale. Proceeds from these sales benefit the library's collections and programs. Any badly damaged items are recycled.