Social Sciences (300)

General Comments

This is a wide-ranging collection covering topics dealing with society and its issues. Information on ecology, social problems, United States government, jobs, laws, government agencies, social services and associations, education, customs, etiquette, fairytale and folklore is provided. The 390s is the largest Dewey section of the children's non-fiction collection. When purchasing in this area, attention should focus on color, illustration, and version of tale. Some areas such as statistics, commerce, communications, and economics are out of scope for development.

Development Plan

This collection seeks to offer introductory information on the social sciences. Some areas in the Dewey breakdown are not represented because the information is too complex and requires a higher reading level. Collection emphasis is on keeping sources current and relevant to the interests and needs of the community. Occasionally, duplicate copies are purchased to satisfy patron demand, but, in general, single copies are sufficient.

Influencing Factors

Purchases and buying patterns are determined in large part by:
  • reading level.
  • new works.
  • budget constraints.
  • circulation statistics.
  • patron requests.
  • shelf space.
  • visual appeal.


  • Titles with child appeal that continue to be used are considered for replacement.
  • Physically worn materials are replaced or updated.
  • Books are withdrawn due to damage, loss, general interest level as evidenced by circulation figures, or content relevancy and currency
  • Titles with multiple copies are checked for usage, and duplicate copies are withdrawn as demand decreases.