How do you make purchasing decisions?

Let me start off by saying: I don’t purchase books.  I have never been in the position to do so and the thought of it scares me a little bit.  I know that purchasing is supposed to be one of the greatest freedoms of working for a small city or district library instead of a huge system like County of LA and that since hardly anyone gets to make individual purchasing decisions anymore, those who have it need to grasp onto that gift.  And I agree.  But its scary!  There are SO many books out there and you can’t read ’em all before they’re published and you need to buy for a huge section.  How do you pick?

Many people go by reviews.  Some people focus on starred reviews.  While this is great in theory, there is a great article on why you need to think a little more for yourself and rely a little less on specific or starred reviews and maybe you’ll have a copy of that award winner on your shelf BEFORE it actually wins an award and everyone can’t believe why you didn’t already own it…

http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/shelftalker/?p=4754

But I’m not also overworked and underpaid AND have to make purchasing decisions… So maybe I’m just being idealistic.

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