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Old 04-28-2014, 09:55 PM
Green Bean is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: NJ, Exit #137
Posts: 12,090
Originally Posted by Boyo Jim View Post
Good luck working with your library. A few months back I reviewed the material available at the Wisconsin Digital library and found a disturbingly high proportion of them (20%) were Star Wars spin offs. I posted about it.
As far as I know, libraries buy certain crap because it's crap that circulates. I'm not sure if your statistical snapshot fits in with the overall trend, but maybe Lasciel could give some insight.

Any look at the "14-day" science fiction books (aka new acquisitions) at my library does reveal that a number of them are either Star Wars or similar spin-offs and lame series extensions like the eleventeenth sequel to Dune. I'm assuming that these are purchased because they circulate. Fortunately, there's always good stuff to balance it out, whether it be a new book by a great author, or some oddball thing I'd never heard of that looks really interesting.

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost View Post
For Banks, do either Use of Weapons or The Player of Games. Heck, do both.
The list is only 50. Gots no room to do both!

Which Heinlein's do you have ahead of Stranger? Besides The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress?
Starship Troopers and The Past Through Tomorrow.
For Niven and some Jerry Pournelle, I'd pick Ringworld, Lucifer's Hammer and The Mote in God's Eye. I like Dream Park and The Magic Goes Away setting too, but can't pick them above those three.
I just added The Mote in God's Eye to the list. The other two are on.

Thanks for all your other great suggestions. The Stainless Steel Rat is definitely included in the second group, hopefully in a volume that contains a few novels. Strangely, they have 4 Stainless Steel Rat sequels, but not the original. I'm thinking a lot of the spottiness in the collection is because books that were originally there were lost/damaged and not replaced.

Originally Posted by Truman Burbank View Post
I'd replace Stranger in a Strange Land with The Menace From Earth, to go along with The Moon/Mistress. I'd second Joe Haldeman's The Forever War. Gotta have a collection of Sturgeon short stories, I'm a complete sucker for Sturgeon, I'd nominate Case and the Dreamer but YMMV.
SiaSL wasn't included. The Menace from Earth is all kinds of awesome, but I think Past Through Tomorrow edges it out given the parameters of the project. I was planning to include Sturgeon's More than Human somewhere. The short stories aren't frequently reference, but I'll take a look (and at least read them myself!)

Originally Posted by Suburban Plankton View Post
A few that haven't received mention yet (assuming I searched well):

Jules Verne - Journey to the Center of the Earth
Edgar Rice Burroughs - The Barsoom Series (A Princess of Mars, etc.)
Ray Bradbury - The Martian Chronicles
Michael Crichton - The Andromeda Strain
I wish I could include all those, but just not enough space. They'll be on the larger list, though. Martian Chronicles may be on the list of 50 though. I'm treading lightly with Crichton and Stephen King because of the inevitable "but they're not sci fi writers" thing. :: sigh ::

Originally Posted by Lasciel View Post
Consumers now are very blessed. If you want a book, you can pretty much guarantee that you can find it somewhere. Amazon, abebooks, hell, look overseas and ship it in from India, or get it printed-on-demand from Lulu.

Most libraries cannot do this. Because they are spending government money, there are a shit-ton of restrictions governing how - and pertinent to this issue - WHERE they can spend. Most of us have to spend funds in specific places, which are usually big book "jobbers" like Brodart or Baker & Taylor, and once those places are out of copies in their warehouses, the libraries are shit outta luck.
First, thank you so much for all your insight. I know that there are all sorts of odd issues like those that you mention, which is why I would get total buy-in from the library and details on what exactly can be accepted for donation before I embarked on anything. There's no point in working to get something they can't (or don't want to) use.

In chatting with the reference librarian, she said that they mainly get books from Baker & Taylor and that they also get things unavailable from them through alibris or similar, so at least the door is open to get things from other sources.

I'm hoping we can do this primarily with donations from outside the library's budget. I don't expect them to be able to freely divert funds from other programs. And by donations, I mean cash, so we can acquire volumes that meet whatever standards they have. Hopefully it won't matter where private citizens get them from.

Now, that's not a total death knell. There are usually paperbacks available - but some library policies prevent purchasing above a certain total collection percentage of paperbacks (because they wear out so much faster than hardbacks), or require that paperbacks be pre-bound, which is costly - our pre-bindery service runs about as much as each actual book costs us. (So, yes, every paperback I buy I'm essentially paying for it twice.
I'll check on the rules for paperback vs. hardback. There are a number of trade paperbacks in the sci fi collection and a couple of mass-market. I assume they'd want to avoid MM paperbacks as much as possible, but there have been a lot of trade paperback re-releases of classics lately, so we might be okay there.
I rarely see any pre-bound books. There are also a couple of key titles such as Rendezvous with Rama over in the relatively disorganized "paperback" section. Since they do have a few MMs in the regular sci-fi section, I'm going to suggest that a few titles be move over if possible.

Frankly, it's frustrating as hell.
Yeah, it sounds that way. Keep on fighting the good fight, though. Your work is appreciated.

Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
Charles Sheffield - Brother to Dragons
Hal Clement - Mission of Gravity

It seems almost heretical to me to not include something by E. E. Smith. But his best known novels are all integral parts of series, I am at a loss to suggest a single title.
I'm considering Mission of Gravity and will look at Brother to Dragons for the next group. I plan to use First Lensman as the main title for the Lensman series with a note that it represents the series. (I know it's not actually first, but it sounds first-y and has Lensman in the title. Oh well)

On preview -
Liebowitz is on the list. Algernon is borderline at the moment.

And next...the list