Factors influencing book selection decisions by academic librarians in an Arabic Islamic context
There are many factors to be taken into account when making selection decisions in an academic library including curriculum need, suitability of content, user interest, and academic input. Academic librarians in the Muslim Arabic country of the United Arab Emirates face the added challenge of making judgements about the suitability of the content in view of the community in which they work. In the absence of comprehensive collection development policies librarians are at times required to make decisions based on the sometimes conflicting demands of traditional Muslim values and their own beliefs about intellectual freedom. In this study nine academic librarians were asked to consider the suitability of twelve books and to offer criteria for their decision. A range of variables was also explored to identify possible relationships between the variables and selection decisions. The variables appearing to have an effect on decisions include the gender and nationality of the student population, and the nationality and religion of the librarian.