Social Sciences

General Comments

This portion of the collection provides information on the social sciences, political science, economics, law, public administration, social problems and services, education, commerce, communications, transportation, customs, etiquette, and folklore. This collection is heavily influenced by electronic sources.

Development Plan

  • 300 Social sciences. In this diverse, large collection, the emphasis is on gender issue and on marriage and the family. Currency is essential on racial subjects nationally and on major international racial issues. Sexuality sources regarding AIDS education are heavily developed and maintained. Community cooperation is an area in need of development.
  • 310 Statistics. Not developed. Statistics information (i.e., collections of quantitative data) is developed and maintained in the reference and government documents collections.
  • 320 Political science. Sources related to diverse aspects of the federal government are heavily developed and maintained. For international relations, a current representation of countries experiencing major change or having significant impact on the United States is developed and maintained.
  • 330 Economics. A collection with a heavy emphasis on domestic economics is maintained. Employment and career development guides and personal finance sources are heavily developed and maintained.
  • 340 Law. A collection with an emphasis on constitutional law and on the law of various industries that include medicine, education, and personnel is maintained. Each year an assortment of reputable income tax preparation sources is purchased. For private law, do-it-yourself sources and books on private law topics are maintained. Contemporary legal topics such as AIDS, drug testing, etc. are developed and maintained. A collection of sources on censorship issues is developed and maintained. International law is minimally developed.
  • 350 Public administration and military science. Public administration sources concerning the United States are developed, while minimal development is done in international public administration. A collection emphasizing presidency sources is maintained. A small collection of military science sources is maintained. Works on uniforms and insignias are heavily developed and maintained. Sources that cover the post-Cold War military, including not only the U.S. but Russia and other pivotal international players as well, are developed and maintained. Coverage of weapons and air/sea craft is developed and maintained since there is a high interest in these topics. Army and naval forces/ warfare sources need to be developed to match the strength of the material in the air force collection.
  • 360 Social problems and services, associations. Examinations of substance abuse, domestic violence, abortion, pornography, suicide, and other current social topics are heavily developed and maintained. Sources about insurance are developed and maintained. Boy Scout merit badge handbooks, useful for general interest and to scouts, are developed and maintained. True crime sources are developed and maintained, emphasizing contemporary crimes. These selections are limited to only those titles receiving especially favorable reviews. Areas for future development include disabilities issues, veterans issues, and examinations of poverty. Homelessness sources are developed and maintained. The areas of public safety and major disasters involving manmade materials are developed and maintained.
  • 370 Education. A diversity of subjects, perspectives, and approaches concerning American public education is maintained, emphasizing parents' perspectives and concerns more than those of teachers and administrators. Since sources concerning higher education are far fewer in number, this is an area for development now and as higher education becomes more established in the community.
  • 380 Commerce, communications, transportation. This is a small collection, however, the subjects are of considerable contemporary interest. Domestic and international trade issues, computer communications, and telecommunications are all possible areas for development. Historical railroad sources concerning the impact of railroads on the western U.S. could be developed. Other transportation areas are minimally developed.
  • 390 Customs, etiquette, folklore. Some costume and fashions sources are maintained. Christmas sources are heavily developed and maintained. Sources by "big name" etiquette writers and other works relevant to the collection are developed and maintained. Wedding planning sources are developed and maintained. Folklore sources, a mature collection of classics with a U.S. emphasis, are maintained. The Native American folklore collection is developed and maintained as worthy, new sources appear.

Influencing Factors

Purchases and buying patterns are determined in large part by:
  • federal and state documents acquired through Library's depository status.
  • wars/international conflicts that have occurred.
  • local community sources that are available.
  • electronic/Internet sources availability.
  • new works.
  • budget constraints.
  • circulation statistics.
  • patron requests.
  • present and potential relevance to the community.
  • shelf space.


  • Statistics: current Statesman's Yearbook is in the Reference collection while all preceding years are in nonfiction. The nonfiction edition is moved to storage as needed.
  • Political science: a core of sources on structure, history, and processes of the federal government is retained. For international political science, a historical core is retained.
  • Economics: writings by major historical and contemporary authors are retained. Career development sources and employment guides are weeded every three to four years. Personal finance sources and investment sources are weeded every three years. Core writings on socialism are retained. Sources relating to the world economy are weeded yearly.
  • Law: guides and how-to sources are weeded every three years. After each tax season multiple copies of income tax guides are weeded to only two copies. Each year's income tax guides have a retention of three years. Sources whose issues have become more familiar, less pressing and/or less controversial are weeded. Generally sources five to seven years old are weeded when new decisions and statutes have affected interpretation of the issues.
  • Public administration and military science: a core of current and historical sources is retained. A core of Cold War era sources is also retained.
  • Social problems and services: true crime is weeded almost one for one. (As one is purchased, one is weeded.) Sources on physical illness and on substance abuse are retained for three to four years. For controversial social issues such as abortion and pornography, a core of pivotal sources is retained. Re-evaluation of other sources occurs every three to four years.
  • Education: this area is weeded for currency.
  • Commerce, communications, transportation: a core of Western U.S. sources is retained.
  • Customs, etiquette, folklore: a core of significant folklore sources is retained. Christmas books are retained 15 years. Etiquette books are retained four to five years. Wedding planners are weeded after four to six years.