Core Collections

Product banner image

Created by Librarians, for Librarians

For all of your collection development and maintenance, general reference and readers’ advisory needs, these reliable guides help librarians build and maintain well-rounded collections of the most highly recommended reference, non-fiction, and fiction books.

With a solid history of excellence—which has earned respect and recognition within the library market—these collections are the only collection development tools on the market with clear recommendation levels and documented selection criteria. This gives these collections an unparalleled level of credibility and authority as impartial and expert aids.

The Recommendation Levels are assigned by the Core Collections editors—librarians with experience in collection development, cataloguing, digital content management, metadata and readers’ advisory—and an advisory committee of exalted public, academic and school librarians who are experts in their fields–many of whom have served terms on selection and award committees for the American Library Association, such as the Newbery Award, the Caldecott Award, and the Printz Award.

Learn more about the team that selects and recommends these titles.

These comprehensive collection development tools for public, academic and K-12 libraries, which list thousands of books chosen for their merit, are available online and in print.

In Print

The print editions contain listings for titles in the top two Recommendation Levels—Most Highly Recommended and Core. The online databases contain records for all the titles included in the print edition plus a Supplemental level, for in-depth study or interest in a particular subject. Print editions are available through Salem Press.


As with any online tool, the Core Collections databases allow for varied search and sorting capabilities, beyond those available within the print editions. They have the full power of EBSCOhost® behind them, including Book Widgets and search facets. For example, “Similar books” and “Other books by this author” widgets within each detailed book record give recommendations of other books within the Core Collections product. These recommendations are directly linked to the detailed records of the recommended titles.

In addition, subscribers of the Core Collections 5-pack will have access to a colorful interface called Core Collections Complete. With Core Collections Complete, you will be able to...

  • browse award-winning books,
  • see recently added books every time you log in,
  • get ideas for book displays and book lists, and
  • easily access the Core Collections selection policy.

Recommended to librarians and libraries at all levels...Easy to use, economical, and makes so much possible for anyone working with children's literature and collection development.

– Booklist