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Collection Development

 If you're interested in the what and the why of the library collection, look no further. And if you have any suggestions speak with Mr. Reese.

Library Collection



"No possession can surpass, or even equal a good library, to the lover of books. Here are treasured up for his daily use and delectation, riches which increase by being consumed, and pleasures that never cloy."

- John Alfred Landford


The St. Peter’s Prep Siperstein Library strives to connect students and faculty with a variety of resources to supplement learning and foster a love of reading. The collection as it stands represents over 12,000 print volumes, a selection of educational and entertainment magazines,  a variety of non-circulating reference materials, five kindles, and a collection of ebooks accessible through the Overdrive online platform.


While the collection seeks to enhance the curriculum of every subject, its strength lies in the vast Shakespeare collection as well as the breadth of the scholarly religion section. This reflects the most frequent users of the library resources--the English and Religion Departments. In an effort to engage and support the needs of the STEM faculty and foster the needs of the 21st century learner, a concentrated effort to build the science, mathematics, and technology collections in the years ahead. Acknowledging that these materials can become outdated more frequently than humanities print resources, the library offers databases through EBSCO that can better serve the math, science, and technology departments.


The online database subscriptions reflect the needs and requests of the faculty and the goals of the formation of a Jesuit Grad at Grad. Research using scholarly articles and databases is a skill that should be acquired before admission to an undergraduate level education, and the Siperstein Library provides the tools and training to effectively research at a college level.


Both the non-fiction and the leisure reading collections are continuously updated with new materials. Faculty and student requests will be accommodated with the approval of the Head Librarian, as long as they are both economically feasible and conform to the Selection Criteria seen below:


Selection Criteria


The print, electronic, and audiovisual materials must match one or more of the following criteria:


  • Faculty requests for classroom materials must serve a purpose beyond his/her own course material. Requests for individual course materials should be made through the faculty member’s department chair.

  • Student and faculty requests should not exceed $50.00 and should also be available through Baker & Taylor, the library’s vendor. Individual exceptions may apply at the discretion of the librarian or other Administration member.

  • Professional reviews may be consulted before the purchase of scholarly materials for the purpose of analyzing verity, content, and usefulness in the collection. The Head Librarian reserves the right to deny requests and/or refer the faculty member to his/her department chair.

  • Requested scholarly materials should conform to either an educational standard or the standards for Jesuit education (the Grad at Grad) see appendices A and B.

  • The collection of fiction materials and popular non-fiction may be based on reviews from professional literature as well as sources for age-appropriate recommendations. They may meet educational standards or simply reflect the tastes of the student body. Many studies show that non-required reading assists in the development of the teenage brain and results in better overall academic performance.

  • Similarly, the graphic novel collection consists of both materials that support the St. Peter’s Preparatory curriculum as well as some that exist solely for pleasure reading. Studies also show that reading comics and graphic materials results in improved academic performance.


Weeding Policy


"The library is not a shrine for the worship of books. It is not a temple where literary incense must be burned or where one's devotion to the bound book is expressed in ritual. A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas--a place where history comes to life."

- Norman Cousins


  • “Weeding” or removing materials from the library collection is based on a variety of factors--the accuracy of the material, the popularity (based on checkouts over time), or failure to conform to any of the standards stated above.  Regular weeding is necessary to maintain the usefulness, integrity, and appeal of the library. Once materials are removed, the librarian will advise the faculty and student body that they may take them for personal collections, but they will only be available for one week before being processed out of the library entirely. Any objection to a material’s removal may be made, but the Librarian reserves the right to make the final decision for or against inclusion.


Challenges to Library Material

Because an item is selected does not mean the librarian endorses or promotes it. He or she is simply helping the library to fulfill its mission of providing information from all points of view.

(From The American Library Association)


Parents may object to materials included in the library collection for personal reasons. The librarian reserves the right to maintain the library collection for all students. Parents are encouraged to discuss their desires and objections with their own son with the understanding that collection decisions are made with the entire student body in mind. Further disagreement with the collection policy may be communicated via the attached Challenge form, but the final decision on inclusion will be made by the Head Librarian in conjuction with the Principal and Dean of Students.