Social Sciences (300)

General Comments

The 300s is one of the largest Young Adult areas collected because young adult social problems, services, and subjects of interest to young adults are addressed.

Development Plan

  • 300 Social sciences. Social sciences is a large, diverse collection. Research topics of current social concerns such as terrorism, racism, violence, sibling rivalry, and young adult pregnancy and parenthood are developed and maintained. Gender issues of homosexuality and young adult sexuality are also developed and maintained. All AIDS information should be kept current.
  • 310 Statistics. Not developed.
  • 320 Political science. This area is minimally developed to meet research needs on constitutional rights and interpretations, immigration, and civil rights. Explanations of political thoughts and theory through history such as Karl Marx and federalism are maintained.
  • 330 Economics. Works on historical information of industrialization, child labor, labor leaders, and women in the workforce are maintained. Titles about environmental issues and famous environmentalists are maintained. Information for working young adults and advice for investing for the future are developed and maintained.
  • 340 Laws. Information regarding laws of interest to young adults is developed and maintained. Topics of world law through the United Nations and war crimes are maintained. Works on the United States Constitution are maintained and interesting research cases such as school prayer, legal rights of children, and privacy issues are developed and maintained. Books on the judicial system and citizens' rights to fair trials are maintained.
  • 350 Public administration and military science. Public administration topics are not developed. Works on the United States military with a focus on the different branches and their special units such as the Green Berets, women in the service, and fighter pilots are developed and maintained. A historical overview of some battles and wars, the Civil War, WWII, and the Vietnam Conflict are maintained with special focus on the daily life of the soldier.
  • 360 Social problems and service associations. This Dewey classification has a significant body of information directed towards young adults. Topics such as substance abuse (drugs, alcohol, smoking), abortion, suicide, violence, pornography, domestic violence, disabilities, AIDS, sexual abuse, adoption, and homelessness are developed and maintained. Information on volunteering and careers in social services is maintained. Report information on topics such as prisons, genocide, young adult crimes, and bias crimes is developed and maintained. Environmental concerns such as acid rain, hazardous waste, greenhouse effect, and garbage disposal are heavily developed and maintained.
  • 370 Education. This small collection is maintained with a focus on school success.
  • 380 Commerce, communications, transportation. This small collection is maintained with a focus on careers of current interest. Career databases provide up to date and interactive information for teens.
  • 390 Customs, etiquette, folklore. This area is popular with young adults for costumes and fashion sources. Etiquette is minimally developed. In the 398s folklore is maintained with an emphasis on Grimm and Aesop's tales and many country tale collections. Native American and African American tales, and Arthurian stories are also maintained.

Influencing Factors

Purchases and buying patterns are determined in large part by:
  • limited availability of material for young adults meeting the criteria of visual appeal and appropriate vocabulary.
  • electronic/Internet sources availability.
  • new works.
  • budget constraints.
  • circulation statistics.
  • patron requests.
  • present and potential relevance to young adult patrons.
  • shelf space.


  • This area needs a focused retention and weeding plan since the subjects covered vary in their need to be kept current.
  • All social problems, career topics, and social issues (environmental) are weeded every three to four years.
  • When considering the 350s and 390s (military and customs and folklore), significant sources on military history, customs, and folklore of the world, including those of Native Americans and African Americans, are retained.