1. Libraries have long debated what makes a good collection. “Give ’em what they want” was the mantra that came from Baltimore County Public Library in the 1970s, a strategy that emphasized accessible, bookstore-like environments, offered a wealth of popular materials and service that was “user-friendly” and “customer-focused” years before anyone started using those terms. On the flip side were libraries that emphasized broad, well-rounded collections to meet the needs of any reader, any time. Lists of core collections were published to help librarians invest in well-reviewed backlist titles, creating miniwarehouses of books just in case. Need a biography of Simon Bolivar? Hey, here’s two. Heading to Montenegro? We’ve got the authoritative travel guide. Oh, you want Mary Higgins Clark’s latest? Get on the waiting list. For years, many libraries tried to do both. But with so many quality resources freely available on the Internet, that’s no longer necessary—or feasible.

    — What We Buy Now by Brian Kenney | Publishers Weekly


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