Stock quality health check

In February 2017 the State Library established a project team to develop a practical tool for NSW public libraries to undertake an assessment of the relevance, depth and range of their adult fiction collections in relation to the communities they serve.  The project team included collections and readers' advisory staff from public libraries of all sizes from across NSW.   Over 60 NSW public libraries have completed the Office spreadsheet icon 2017 adult fiction stock quality health check spreadsheet

The purpose of the adult fiction stock quality health check is to examine the relevance, depth and range of adult fiction collection stock in relation to the communities served by public libraries. 

There is a list of 500 titles to check which are representative across designated areas of reading interest (genres) which indicates the breadth and depth of an adult fiction collection in New South Wales.  This is not a shopping list of titles for your collection, but a representative list. This has been developed by a keen group of public library staff comprised of collections and readers' advisory specialists. They have developed a list of 500 adult fiction titles to check the health of your fiction collection.

How does your library service participate?

  • Download the 2017 adult fiction stock quality health check spreadsheet
  • Read the instructions on the read me first tab
  • Complete the check using your library catalogue – putting a 1 next to the titles held
  • It must be an exact match for the author/title
  • When you have completed the check, please email the completed spreadsheet to Ellen Forsyth


How can your library use the results:

  • Look at the percentages for each genre
  • Are you surprised with the results? Why/Why not?
  • What might be some of the reasons the score is low/high in this area?
  • Are there any other measures you should consider when considering the strength of this area of your collection?
  • What action should you take to improve this area? Action could be adding some titles to this area. They may be listed on the adult fiction stock quality health check but they may not.

The adult fiction stock quality health check is not a shopping list for titles to add to your collection.

How long will it take? About 30 seconds a title.  You can check it in one sitting, or over many days.

This is an indicative list of titles.  If your library scores low in an area, this is a prompt to look at this part of your collection in more detail (and not to buy the titles on the stock quality health check list). This will help you to explore your collection. The genres were suggested and decided by the project team. 

The titles on this list are all in print (or were at the time the list was finalised).  For the titles the format (print, ebook, eaudio, ebook) does not matter (except for the titles listed as graphic novels).  To put a ‘1’ next to the title it must be an exact title match (not another title by the same author).

Thank you to the library staff (collections and readers’ advisory) who have developed this list.

For merged councils that still have separate catalogues, please check each catalogue, but report the results on one spreadsheet.



There is also a  Stock Quality Health Check tool for Children and Young Adult collections

It is suggested that since these are about five years old, that they are used as in indicator only.

Read a short report looking at 2011 and 2012  PDF icon adult fiction and children's and young adult stock quality health check information.

You can see the results of the 2017 adult fiction stock quality health check, it includes spreadsheets.