Selection Aids and Internet Resource Aids

Since it is impossible and unreasoanable for the selection staff to read and review personally the large number of library materials being introduced each year,the selection staff must rely upon the assistance of professionally prepared selection aids.In this paper, the author is going to differentiate between selection aids and internet resource guides justifying their relevence to information science.
Selection aids are resources that assist a librarian in choosing,especially in the aquisition department,the appropriate collection in the library.Selection aids are usually in print form. The internet resource guides function the same as selection aids but these guides are in electronic form.

Selection aids consists of the following;professional library journals such as book lists,library journals,school library journals and publisher's weekly.Magazines of general interests such as Time,Newsweek,American Heritage etc.They include journals in specific fields for retrospective purchases such as Public Library Catalog and Children's Catalog,publisher's catalogs and fliers.

Internet resource guides may include organisational websites,these sites provide information on the authority and reputation of the work including the coverage.Personal home pages are also internet resource guides.A personal home page is a www page ,or a collection of pages which is maintained by an individual author which relates to his or her personal interests. Personal home pages often include materials relating to a specific subject area. The author may include the types of books published by himself or herself. There are also subject-based www sites which are a collection of pages which have a particular subject focus.

Electronic journals and magazines are used widely as internet guides.Publication such as newspapers,flyers,annual reviews,are now produced only in electronic format.Image based information sources are sources which primarily rely upon the use of images as a source of information,for example,to illustrate work,for presentations,to suppliment other textual materials.Thus promotional materials may be presented in this form which assist the librarian in selecting materials for the library.A book database such as Amazon may be used as a selection aid.These types of databases produce a graphical image of the book,the size and even the cost of the material

Depending on the collection development policies which are used as a guide for selecting appropriate materials for the library,selection aids and internet resource guides are so usefull in selecting the actual materials for the library.

Collection development policies that include analysis of the present collection and long-term plans and goals assist in building a collection that benefits the current and future users of the library.Selection aids assist in choosing the appropriate format of the materials ,whether electronic or print.For example some academic institutions prefer electronic materials than print due to limited storage space.

Sometimes book marketers donate sample copies of the sold books so that library users may assess the relevancy of the book.The books are displayed in the library and the actual acquisition is made only after users recommend them.These sample copies are also selection aids.

Selection aids help the librarian to acquire materials that meet the needs of the collection users,fulfill the organisation's mission statement and that meet the institution's budgetory allocation.

If quality,accuracy and relevance is of a great importance in the acquisition of library materials,selection aids and internet resource guides will continue to be relevent in information science.


1-COOK,Authoratitive guide to Evaluating Information on the internet,Neal-Schuman Publishers,1999.
2-Vernon,Information Sources in Management and Business 2nd Ed ,Butterworths,1984,information management journal
4-Baca,Introduction to Metadata:Pathways to digital Information,Los Angels,1998
5-Chapman,Digital Imaging for libraries and Archives,Ithica,1996

Etiwel Mutero holds a Bsc Honours Degree in Records and Archives Management , His Mobile phone +263773614293 or email

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