Acquisitions | Mechanics' Institute

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Suggestions from members are encouraged and represent a large number of titles purchased. Members may complete the available online form to recommend a book, audiobook (digital or on CD), DVD, music CD, eBook, periodical, or newspaper subscription. Purchase suggestions will be reviewed by the appropriate librarian to determine if the Library will make the purchase or not.

The MI librarians are considered as "subject experts”, each assigned specific areas of the collection based upon their expertise and interests. They monitor the spending in each subject, given that a specific level of funds is allocated to particular subject and formats. These allocations are reviewed periodically. The librarians initiate purchases based on reviews that are published in the standard review literature, such as Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Review, London Review of Books, plus reviews that appear in newspapers and magazines with book review sections. Librarians consider all formats in their subject areas and they apply standard evaluation criteria. The selectors are always taking into consideration the Library's space limitations.

The Library adds some 3,500 items to its collection each year. In addition, some 500 titles, received as member donations, are catalogued and integrated into the collections annually.

The process of selection is ongoing, enabling the Library to develop both strength in special areas and balance in the general collection across all formats. While the emphasis is on current needs, long term needs are also taken into consideration.