Originally Posted by strange_wings
I gave up on the one here in town, all it has is cheap paper back Harlequins, some mysteries, and westerns.
Practically no sci-fi at all, not even well known authors, and the system is rather weak too -it had maybe one or two books by certain authors at best.
The non fiction section was somewhat outdated (not good for science related stuff at all), mostly magazines and even the children's section looked rather poor. There has to be some serious funding issues.
In comparison, the public library in the town I grew up in (1500 people at best) had better selections and the librarian really tried to get new releases in regularly.
It's probably a funding issue. It sounds as if they're buying, with their limited funds, what is most popular for the area (for example, out west, westerns are usually very hot; whereas, here, back east, we don't even categorize them with a "western" sticker or a special call number, like our mystery and sci-fi collections). In my experience, having worked in a public library for 20+ years, when the state has to cut funds, libraries get the axe. A few years ago, we had a 40% decrease in our budgets; we had to drop a lot of newspaper subscriptions, etc. They wanted to give us a 50% decrease! This went on for about 2-3 years; now, fortunately, we're back to normal (bear in mind, I NEVER remember our library getting budget cuts; if anything, we had it increased annually, and usually got a $50,00-$100,000 state grant at the end of the year, in order to buy more materials).
Perhaps if your library could increase its circulation or foot traffic, and take count of this on a daily basis, add it up at the end of the year, and present this to whoever provides the funding, it may get you better funding. It also depends on who's doing the collection devlopment (choosing and buying materials).
When will state governments wake up, and realize how important libraries are????