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Collection Development and RA: Home

What is Collection Development?

Collection development is the intentional curation of library materials to best serve your community's needs. Small libraries often contend with limited space and limited budgets, so it's important to internalize two things, right off the bat:

1. You can't buy everything. And as a member of a 65-library consortium, you don't need to.

2. You can't keep everything forever. There's not enough shelving in the world. (See also: Weeding)

In this guide, you'll find resources that will help you with collection development - from selection and purchasing to promoting your collection to evaluation and weeding.

What is RA?

Readers Advisory is helping leisure readers find their next good book. It's a core service of public libraries and can be done well by any library, regardless of size or staffing.

RA can be active (a conversation with a patron) or passive (a display or booklist), and can include suggestions for and related to non-print materials, such as audiobooks, movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, and even video games.

To receive the semi-monthly, very fancy RA for your Friday email, subscribe to NCLS's adultserv email list.

Deep Dives

In a small library, you may be the only person buying titles for your collection. But how to keep up with genres or formats you don't know well? And what about when a patron asks for a recommendation? Don't worry - you're not alone. NCLS can help!

North Country librarians are pooling our expertise on a variety of genres and formats to provide you with resources to help you build your collection and provide excellent RA service.

Graphic Novels






Science Fiction/Fantasy

Additional Resources

RA for All: Training library workers to help leisure readers.

KDL What's Next Database: Your guide to series fiction.

Booklist Webinars: Free, one-hour sessions geared towards exploring forthcoming titles from the publishing industry and trends in librarianship.

Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them