Pure Sciences (500)

General Comments

This collection provides introductory information on natural sciences, mathematics, astronomy and allied sciences, physics, chemistry and allied sciences, earth sciences, paleontology, paleozoology, life sciences, botanical sciences, and zoological sciences. This is a well- developed and well-used area that supports science fair projects for the young patron. The 590s is also a well-developed collection that meets the young patrons' interests in animals.

Development Plan

The primary goal of this collection is to provide introductory information on the natural sciences and mathematics. Collection emphasis is on keeping sources current and relevant to the interest and needs of the younger patron. The collection strives to meet the needs of younger patrons doing science fair projects. For the younger patron, the Library:
  • strives to provide a broad range of subject interests at varying reading levels.
  • evaluates patron requests either through reviews, or knowledge and popularity of the author or title.
  • purchases multiple copies of popular titles when patron demand warrants and as budget allows.
  • does not purchase textbooks and workbooks with practice sheets.

Influencing Factors

For the preschool through sixth grade reader the presentation of information should include clear and colorful illustrations, highlighted vocabulary, concise glossary, and an index (that may or may not be present). Purchases and buying patterns are also determined in large part by:
  • reading level.
  • new works.
  • budget constraints.
  • circulation statistics.
  • patron requests.
  • shelf space.
  • visual appeal.


  • The 500s contain subjects in which information is quickly dated or even proven wrong (physics, astronomy, etc.), as well as subjects where information is nearly timeless (mathematics). Therefore, weeding must be aggressive in the more time-sensitive areas to ensure the availability of accurate, up-to-date information, while in other areas retention can be based more on condition and level of use.
  • Titles with multiple copies are checked for usage, and duplicate copies are withdrawn as demand decreases.