More than 2,000,000 books and other items were checked out from the Kenton County Public Library last year, making our library one of the highest circulating libraries in the state. But you may be wondering how we choose the materials that end up on our shelves. Our strategic plan
outlines five service priorities; the first two of these are Create Lifelong Readers and Learners, and Stimulate Imagination. The Collection Development department strives to ensure that these service priorities are reflected in the materials we select.
We have four staff who are responsible for selecting tens of thousands of items each year—two for adult and young adult materials, one for children’s, and one A/V specialist. Each of us spends time reading through reviews in both professional journals and popular newspapers and magazines, looking at bestseller lists, and paying attention to online trends to discover what our patrons might be interested in reading. We read reviews from professional publications such as Booklist
, Publishers Weekly
, and Library Journal
, and from popular magazines like People
and Entertainment Weekly
For items we know are going to be popular, we are able to set up standing orders with our vendors. This means when a popular author like James Patterson or John Grisham has a new book coming out, they will automatically ship us a designated number of copies. We have a similar plan for nonfiction, where, for one example, we can get the latest editions of popular travel guides sent without having to order each year. These lists are reviewed periodically to make sure we’re getting an appropriate number of copies since author/topic popularity can fluctuate.