Sourcing and Maintaining Stock
All libraries require a good supply of stock to attract users. The most obvious being books, but this may also include other items to lend or sell. A key consideration is not just the initial securing of stock, but the ongoing renewal and replacement of stock to keep your collection current, and relevant to your community.
There are different approaches to stocking a community library.
- Integration with the local authorities book stocking: From a community perspective, this is the ideal solution if the authority is willing, and has the resources to maintain stock in the same way that it does for it’s own libraries.
- Donations: Community appeals for stock can help provide a ready supply of books and other materials. However, this approach is unlikely to generate the most appropriate range of materials that one may expect from a public library. Specialist materials such as large print and audio books for example may be more difficult to source in this way.
- Direct Purchasing: Provided there is a source of income, independent libraries can purchase books directly from distributers. Most libraries benefit from bulk buying discounts, often amplified by collaborative agreements across local authority boundaries. Community organisations may be able to tap into such arrangement. Alternatively, there is scope for community libraries to work together to broker better deals for themselves. We are able to help coordinate bulk buying deals to community libraries via links to a number of distributers. Please contact us for further details.
It may be possible to source book stock using all of these approaches. An important and related consideration is the Library Management System. E.g. some Local Authorities will not accept the addition of donated stock onto their systems.