Buying Biases

No matter how aware you are of them, inevitably when you are charged with buying non-fiction for your library, your personal preferences will creep through. 

We had a discussion at work recently about the biases of our current and past librarians and here's what we came up with as some of the biases over the years (aka “there wasn't a book in this category that the librarian couldn't pass up”)

– business books
– cookbooks
– technology books (guess who?)
– parenting books (guess who part two?)
– military history books (guess who – part three?  Hint: I'm replacing a guy who volunteered to go to Afghanistan)
– political books
– new age books

I think there was only one librarian who we couldn't really peg as showing any noticeable bias in his buying – though we think he's the one responsible for buying “The Joy of Sex” as a branch perm for each of our locations so that sort of trumps any biases anyone may have! 

(Some of the stories I've heard about this book at the branches:  some librarians keep it behind the counter, not out of censorship but out of fear of it being stolen or “abused”.  One found it moved to the children's section.  One found it in the humour section.  One moved it to the top shelf even though it was supposed to be on a lower one.  And I'm sure there are tons of other stories like that.)

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