Collection Development Statement Fiction


. Purpose of Collection

The purpose of this circulating collection is to support the recreational information needs of the stated user populations.  NOTE:  This collection development statement refers only to adult fiction.  See other collection development statements for children's literature.

. User Population (Curricular and Program Needs)

The user populations of these collections include:

  • Undergraduate and graduate students of Emporia State University

  • Faculty and staff of Emporia State University

  • Kansas Resident card patrons

History of Collection (Collection Characteristics)

Historically, the adult general fiction collection at White Library has held a mixture of popular fiction and classic literature by a variety of authors.  All these materials were cataloged under "F" for fiction and then alphabetically by author under the appropriate Cutter number.  In the summer of 2002, a major weeding project of the fiction collection was accomplished.  Classic literature was moved from general fiction and reclassed with Dewey Decimal numbers to be cataloged with corresponding literary criticisms. The remaining fiction books were weeded to reflect current readers' interests and were relocated to two rooms on the 4th floor that formerly housed the Honors Program. The result is a  dynamic, growing popular fiction collection that will continue to evolve as tastes in fiction change.

Existing Strengths and Weaknesses

The summer 2002 weeding project helped greatly in creating a popular fiction collection that will appeal to a variety of reading tastes.  Another project is currently underway to place genre stickers on books to designate mysteries, science fiction/fantasy, local authors, romances, westerns, adventure, and historical fiction.

Primary weaknesses in the fiction collection were identified in the weeding project and were mainly gaps in books by current authors such as Mary Higgins Clark, James Patterson, and John Grisham.  Many of these books have been purchased and added to the collection in 2002/03 and this purchasing trend will continue.  A continuing weakness, and one that is being addressed currently, is the relative lack of fiction that appeals to various cultures and lifestyles.  Fiction by popular African-American writers such as Connie Briscoe and E. Lynn Harris, as well as writers from gay/lesbian culture such as Rita Mae Brown and Armistead Maupin, is now reflected in the collection.  Care should be taken to monitor forthcoming multicultural fiction and alternative fiction out of the mainstream culture, purchasing titles that will interest the diverse cultural populations using the library.  Another weakness is a deficiency of books in the popular fiction collection issued in other languages.  Some children's fiction may appear in the ESOL collection (English for Speakers of Other Languages) in the library.  However, it should be remember that the ESOL collection is not owned by White Library.  Rather, the collection is maintained by the Kansas State Board of Education office working with English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, & Academic Achievement and thus should not be used as a substitute for our own collection.

Collecting Priorities (include retention strategies)

  • Fiction (fict1):  Used to purchase current popular fiction of all types, including genres listed above.  Collecting priorities should include multicultural and alternative fiction, and bestselling fiction of interest to the user populations.  Weed every summer beginning in 2003, withdrawing in general those books not circulated within the past five years.  Keep major fiction by easily recognized authors, replacing these books that are badly used or worn.

Selection Process and Tools

. Particular vendors is an excellent resource for verifying forthcoming novels and identifying previously published fiction to fill in gaps in the collection.

. Specific Selection Guides

The New York Times Book Review provides in-depth reviews of fiction and is especially useful for the current New York Times bestseller lists for hardcover and paperback fiction.  Other guides to consult include Library Journal in print and Publishers Weekly online at for that magazize's bestseller fiction lists and "Forecasts" of forthcoming fiction

. Publishers to be Aware of in this Subject

Little, Brown; Doubleday; Harcourt; Putnam; Harcourt; HarperCollins; smaller literary presses such as Four Walls/Eight Windows for alternative fiction.