Collections Policy › Philosophy and Psychology (100-199)

Philosophy and Psychology (100-199)

The philosophy/psychology collection includes works by and about major philosophers and philosophies, both Western and Eastern, ancient and modern. Subjects in this area include metaphysics, ethics, logic, the paranormal, and psychology. Other subject concentrations include spiritualism, works on witchcraft and magic, and works on parapsychology. The most heavily used portion of the collection (150-158) contains classic and popular self-help books. 

Influencing Factors 

In the areas of philosophy and psychology, the Library buys materials reviewed in standard reviewing sources Library Journal, Book List, Publisher’s Weekly, and Sunday’s New York Times Book Review are the primary selection publications used for curating.  Key vendors (e.g. Ingram) provide digital access to online collection development data, such as customized reports about high demand materials and a central repository of starred book reviews. is also checked for high interest titles. Selectors keep a close eye on what guests are requesting and the availability of high demand titles within the Montgomery County’s library consortium known as “MCLINC” via hold requests data. 

The Library concentrates on titles of popular appeal. Attention is given to media coverage on the ethical ramifications of social, medical, business, and environmental questions as it often stimulates patron demand. 

Selection Plan 

Continued interest in psychology and psychiatry on the part of ATPL patrons is a decisive factor in selection. Interest remains high for materials on self-help, interpersonal relations, psychology, and death and grieving. Because of the large number of popular titles in these subject areas, the author or publisher’s reputation is of prime importance in the selection of materials.

In the area of philosophy (180-199), the Library attempts to cover both Western and Eastern ideas in the field. ATPL makes every effort to keep these sections dynamic and current for potential student and personal use. Emphasis is placed on balancing the collection by purchasing titles on Asian and Middle Eastern schools of thought when available. 

Retention and Weeding 

When weeding, paranormal titles are retained if in good condition. Psychology materials are weeded to assure current accuracy and to reflect new research. H.W. Wilson’s Non Fiction Core database is checked for classic titles in both psychology and philosophy which are retained.   Thoughtful weeding by the selector goes in hand in hand with careful, targeted selection of new titles to maintain a balanced and vibrant collection. 


Sep. 2004 rev. 01/2004/Msatterthwaite | Oct. 2010 | Revised September 23, 2019