You Want Me to Select for What? Getting Started in a New Area

An ALCTS Webcast.

Librarians are often assigned collection development responsibilities in unfamiliar subject areas, then struggle to learn about new subjects, assess local needs, and identify major publishers. Even experienced selectors can find a new subject daunting. This presentation suggests strategies and resources for learning about unfamiliar subjects when assigned selection responsibilities, using examples from the presenter’s experience as a selector and working with new selectors.


Virginia Kay Williams ( is Acquisitions Librarian at Wichita State University, where she selects for law and engineering. Her prior experience includes collection development at Mississippi State University, school librarianship, and school district administration. She holds degrees in library science and law from the University of South Carolina.


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For questions or comments related to the webinars, contact Julie Reese, ALCTS Events Manager at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5034 or