Our stock policy determines how we buy and manage our collection of books and information. You can read the full version of our stock policy (PDF, 834kb), but a few key points are also given below:
Where do you buy your books from?
For print books we are part of a trans-regional consortium of 36 library authorities, which has a contract with one supplier to achieve the highest possible discounts. The consortium tender is renewed every 5 years, ensuring that we continually get best value and service. Our current supplier is Askews and Holts Library Services.
For e-books and e-audio our supplier is Overdrive and we have a one to one contract with them. Supplying books as e-books extends access because people can access them from home 24 hours. In come cases, more than one person can access the same title at the same time, so this is value for money for us. Our e-library is one of our growing libraries, so we aim to make as many titles available as we possibly can, with the money we have available to us.
How do you choose what to buy?
We work with our library book supplier to provide our new items of stock. We use intelligence from the types of items you have borrowed in the past, information about the size and opening times of our libraries and from this we develop a series of profiles that the library suppliers use when selecting books on our behalf. In its simplest form, this means that the more popular titles are bought for our smaller libraries, with more esoteric titles found at our larger libraries.
For what reason might you choose not to buy a book I’ve recommended or requested?
Our library book supplier works to a set of criteria set out by us. We won’t buy anything that we consider too expensive (we set a bar of around £35 on a hardback non-fiction book) or that we think would only be used by one person (to support their leaning for example). We also try to avoid items that contain loose-leaf pages or where there are lots of multiple choice questions to tick (e.g. personality assessment workbooks) We would also not purchase anything that was over about 7 years old, unless it was considered to be a classic text or a book that continues to be popular over a period of time. Other than that, our only limitations are if something has been banned from publication. We do not censor any materials, so, although you may disagree with it, you will find profanities, violence and scenes of a sexual nature in some of our books.
We consider every item that our customers recommend or request for purchase using the criteria above. If we decide not to buy a book we will let you know the reason.
Do you have copies of newspapers and magazines in your libraries?
To enable us to make the best use of our budget we have decided to subscribe to PressReader which gives us access to 7000 digital newspapers and magazines. The service is free on your mobile device or computer when you log on using your library card. This means that you have access to newspapers and magazines outside library opening hours as well as in the library using our wi-fi.
We do make a selection of hard copy newspapers and magazines available in our Reading Cafes.
How much money do you spend on books?
Our total stock budget is £183,000. This covers all of our hard copy books, our online reference materials, our magazines, newspapers and audio books.
Do you accept donated books?
We do accept donated books, but only if they fall within the criteria we listed above and are in perfect condition. We would welcome popular books in great condition, that will continue to be loved by many readers after you.
You can find more information on our donations page