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Shelf Talk 35: Requesting Titles

Since Beth Roberts is taking a well-earned vacation, you all are stuck with hearing from the Mississippi County Library System (MCLS) director. This week I would like to encourage you, the customers, of the library system to continue in your activity to request titles for purchase in all formats. Our available formats include print books, eBooks, audiobooks, periodicals, table games, etc.

Over the past year the MCLS has purchased over $10,000 in resources selected by our customers. We are pleased to provide this service. This amount accounts for approximately 12% of our current fiscal year print and eBook investment.

Three of the ten stated values of the MCLS are partially addressed when customers are involved in selection. These three values are as follows…

· Exposure to new thoughts and technologies

· Tranquility-fostering tolerance of differing thoughts and points of view

· Inclusive resource selection and access

Our mission statement and all ten of our shared values can be found at

The MCLS conducts selection with a multi-pronged approach. Multiple copies of new titles by certain best-selling and locally popular authors are shipped automatically through standing orders. These author lists include names such as John Grisham, Stephen King, Karen Kingsbury, John Sandford, Nicholas Sparks, etc. Standing orders are used for both trade books and large print. The Junior Library Guild automatically ships certain children’s and adolescent titles offered through subscriptions selected by me.

Each of the System’s library managers regularly select items. The managers know the customers’ reading interests better than I do. With a deep background in academic librarianship and broad daily life interests, I tend to do most of the non-fiction selection.

Regarding the eBooks and audiobooks that are selected for the collection in the Libby app, all participating libraries across the State nominate and endorse a committee of people to select titles using the large pool of consortium funding. I also maintain a separate pool of funds to purchase titles for the MCLS. Titles that I purchase with these funds are available exclusively to MCLS library card holders for the first month. If you would like a particular eBook or audiobook to be added to Libby, let a MCLS staff member know. If the title is offered by Overdrive (the company behind Libby), it is usually available within 24 hours of my purchase.

Periodicals (newspapers, magazines, trade publications, and scholarly journals) have seen hardly any use in recent years. We still subscribe to several local and regional newspapers. However, popular magazines are no longer being purchased in print other than at Blytheville and Manila. No one has missed them at the other four locations. On the other hand, dozens of popular periodicals are available digitally through the Libby app.

The last prong of approach to be mentioned is you! If you would like us to add a particular title, let a staff member know, shoot us an email, or give us a call. Pretty much everything that is requested is added to our collections. There have been very few suggestions that have not been added over my tenure of nearly four years, and that has been due to outrageous pricing for certain out of print or academic reference titles.

Thank you for your continued participation regarding selection. Keep up the good work!

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