Pure Sciences (500)

General Comments

Coverage of all major fields, with the greatest emphasis on zoology, earth sciences, biological sciences, and astronomy is provided. Least emphasis is on chemistry (though mineralogy sources are well represented), paleontology (though dinosaur sources are well represented), and physics. Other fields are of medium size in the collection. This collection is heavily influenced by electronic sources.
  • In the life sciences class, the main focus is on regional flora and fauna.
  • A large assortment of science project books are developed and maintained.
  • An effort is made to provide at least one general textbook for each major field; textbooks will be undergraduate reading level.
  • Particular care is given to maintaining numerous sources; multiple copies can often be appropriate.
  • Highly technical sources are avoided, as well as sources with lackluster illustrations.

Development Plan

  • 500 Pure sciences. Philosophy of science and natural history sources are developed and maintained. Geographically-specific natural histories, with some international coverage of major areas of the world as appropriate, are developed and maintained. Regional U.S. sources are developed and maintained. As significant, new, popular naturalists emerge, their complete works are purchased. Science fair sources are heavily developed and maintained (some with multiple copies).
  • 510 Mathematics. A mature collection of general math and algebra books directed to an older student brushing up on skills is maintained. A collection of business math and statistics sources is maintained. Also maintained is a small core of advanced math sources.
  • 520 Astronomy and allied sciences. A large astronomy collection is heavily developed and maintained. This collection experiences heavy use, so multiple copies are appropriate. A small collection of surveying sources is maintained.
  • 530 Physics. A small popular collection covering new discoveries in physics is developed and maintained.
  • 540 Chemistry and allied science. This is the smallest of the science collections; however, a large mineralogy collection is maintained. A popular collection covering new developments in chemistry is developed and maintained.
  • 550 Earth sciences. Diverse coverage is provided in this large collection with an emphasis on works of geology, oceanography, weather and climate, coal and oil, and rocks and gems. A broad representation of field guides is maintained. Natural disaster coverage is developed and maintained.
  • 560 Paleontology. A large collection of information on dinosaurs and fossils is maintained; otherwise, this class is minimally developed and the collection overall is small. Fossil guides are developed, especially those having a regional emphasis.
  • 570 Life sciences. Sources on physical anthropology are maintained. Sources on environments of current concern are developed (e.g., polar regions, rain forests). Works on the ecology and organisms of assorted environments are developed, paying particular attention to regional sources. Evolution information is maintained. Works on genetic engineering are developed and maintained. Books on taxidermy skills are maintained.
  • 580 Botanical sciences. A collection of tree and flower information is maintained. A wide assortment of field guides is also maintained. Some works on regional plants (e.g., cacti, grasses, evergreens), as well as sources on mushrooms and other fungi are maintained.
  • 590 Zoological science. A collection focusing on general overviews of animals and animal behavior is maintained. Also maintained is coverage of a variety of environments. Coverage of non-mammal species such as insects, spiders, fish, snakes, reptiles, and birds is maintained. Wide-ranging coverage of mammals is maintained, with special emphasis on carnivores. Primate sources need to be developed. Field guides on seashells are maintained.

Influencing Factors

Purchases and buying patterns are determined in large part by:
  • electronic/Internet sources availability.
  • new works.
  • budget constraints.
  • circulation statistics.
  • patron requests.
  • present and potential relevance to the community.
  • shelf space.


  • Natural histories and philosophies of science are weeded as they become less contemporary, but discrimination should be exercised regarding "big name" naturalists.
  • Science fair books are weeded as their topics appear dated. Collection size should be monitored and redundancy weeded when necessary to control size.
  • Out of date sources on space science development are weeded.
  • A small Einstein/relativity core is retained. Popular sources on new physics developments and topics are weeded after three to five years, again paying attention to author.
  • Cousteau sources are very selectively discarded.
  • Mineralogy and petrology sources are weeded at the same time, as considerable crossover exists.
  • An adult core of paleontology sources by major authors is retained.
  • Writings of Darwin are not discarded.