General Comments

This collection provides biographical and autobiographical information about important historical and significant contemporary figures. Though having a broad subject scope, the biographies are not intended as a major collection in the library. Selectivity of sources is very important.

Development Plan

Collected are works on major historical and contemporary figures, national and international, in diverse fields. Works on famous names of the American West are emphasized. Biographies of popular sports and entertainment figures are acceptable. Biographies of people who are not famous but who are in interesting lines of work are acceptable, though such sources receive reduced emphasis.
  • As biographical assignments are fairly frequent in community schools, particular attention is paid to maintaining different reading levels in biography.
  • If sources contain a great deal of critical analysis of authors' works, as well as biographical information, they are classed in the 800s. True crime biographies are classed in the 364.1 section.

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.


  • Sources on world figures are weeded as their subjects pass into obscurity.
  • Biographies of deceased movie stars of lesser stature are weeded.
  • Works on pop culture figures whose popularity has passed are weeded, unless having enduring influence or celebrity.
  • Biographies of people who are not famous but who are in interesting lines of work are weeded as timeliness of subject fades.
  • Classic biographies are not weeded.
  • When weeding sources on historical figures, the likelihood that a figure would be an appropriate biography assignment for school is considered and likely sources are retained.