MLS Public Core Reference List
6th edition, 2003
The Core Reference List was drawn up by a committee of MLS public library reference librarians. It is in 2 parts, Required Resources and Recommended Resources.
Required Resources (pdf) is a short list of items that every MLS public library must have. They serve as the foundation of a library's reference collection. This required list has only a few specific titles. The rest of the entries are subject areas in which the library must have at least one title. The Required Resources list is organized into the same main subject categories as the Recommended Resources list to make it simple to find a recommended item that will fulfill the requirement.
Recommended Resources (pdf) is a list of subject categories with specific titles in each category that are good reference resources for that subject. They are recommended by experienced public library reference practitioners. It is expected, but not required, that resources to fill the requirements of the Required Resources list will come from the Recommended List.
If you have any suggestions for additions, questions or comments on the list, just email David Seleb. Please let us know which library you're from, and mention the Public Library Core List in the subject line.
The list is presented in .PDF format as an entire document, including both the Required and Recommended Lists, and as separate documents for each section, so that users are able to access and print just what they need.
Recommended List by sections: (all PDF)
Up until the 2003 6th edition, The Core List as a whole has been revised periodically. However, now that the list is no longer primarily a print document, the Metropolitan Library System Reference Advisory Committee, on the recommendation of the Task Force to Revise the Public Library Core List, has decided to revise the list by section, on a rotating basis.
The Core Lists are developed and maintained by committees of librarians from MLS member libraries. Metropolitan Library System is pleased to share these documents with colleagues from other libraries. If you use any of this material, please attribute it to Metropolitan Library System, Burr Ridge, IL.