Nonfiction Core Collection

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Created by Librarians, for Librarians

Formerly called Public Library Core Collection: Nonfiction, this database provides more than 24,000 titles of the most highly recommended reference and non-fiction books for adults. Created by subject librarians and covering a wide range of topics, from health to personal finance, this collection can be used for collection development, readers’ advisory, and curriculum support. It is appropriate for developing nonfiction collections at a wide variety of libraries, not only public libraries.


The online version of this impartial and expert resource provides all metadata to aid in selection for larger libraries and subject-level collections, and includes features — such as book review citations and excerpts, book covers, advanced searching and sorting capabilities, and monthly content updates — not available in print the print editions. Online recommendation levels include Most Highly Recommended, Core Collection, Supplementary Materials and Archival.


The print editions are abridgements of the databases and contain listings for titles in the top two recommendation levels — Most Highly Recommended and Core Collection — plus additional metadata and evaluative excerpts for making collection development decisions. Copies are available from Grey House Publishing and new editions are published approximately every two years. Click here to leave this site and view the print edition.


This large and vital reference is a must for both public and academic libraries.

– Laura Herrell, ARBA