Why was the book I suggested for purchase declined or not selected?
Last Updated: May 22, 2023 Views: 1318

Wake County Public Libraries’ book collection focuses on popular and trending titles and titles with lasting appeal, written by edited authors and produced by known publishers.

In fall 2019, we changed our online form to the newer Materials Request form within our online catalog, and we have seen a 450% increase in the number of books suggested by library patrons.

In the 12 months before making this change, we received about 3,200 suggested titles. In one month after switching to the new system, we received over 1,200 suggested titles. Because of this increase in the number of suggestions, we are declining a greater percentage of them.

While we cannot provide specific reasons why each suggested title may be declined, we can share some of the most common criteria we use in selecting books.

Some of the criteria we use when considering which books to select and purchase include:

  • Whether the book has been well-reviewed in professional journals (from publications such as Library Journal, School Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, etc.)
  • Initial print run size
  • Demand for the book with wholesale vendors (e.g. how many copies our vendor has in stock),
  • Publisher marketing and promotion
  • National and local media coverage

We will decline a suggestion as "declined, not available" if the suggested book is:

  • Not available through our single approved and contracted vendor
  • Out of stock from the publisher
  • Out of print

WCPL purchases books no more than 60-90 days before the publication date for popular and best-selling titles, while most other books are purchased 30-60, or fewer, days in advance.

We will decline a suggestion as "declined, too soon to purchase" if the suggested book is being published more than 60-90 days in advance.

In all other cases, books may be declined due to not meeting enough of the selection criteria when compared to other newly published books WCPL is selecting for purchase.

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