Travel Guides


The travel guides section of the study abroad library will include the materials which may typically be recognizable as travel guides.

Information Needs:

The travel guides section will focus solely on the printed travel guides for the study abroad student to learn more about the community and surrounding communities in which he or she will be living.  The student will need to know practical daily needs such as dining options as well as opportunities for leisure days and traveling. The travel guides which have low budgets or off-season travel as the themes may be very helpful to the study abroad student.

Collection Development:


What is a travel guide? It is a work which can inform study abroad students about local dining, lodging, and attractions.  Travel guides can provide day to day logistical travel information and/or language tips for the person who is visiting a location.


The travel guides are generally considered a leisure material, thus a public library may be more inclined to have a collection of travel guides; an academic library may tend to have more historical or cultural information instead of actual travel guides. Since the study abroad library’s focus is the students who are traveling overseas, travel guides are an essential aspect of the collection. A good example of a collection policy for travel guides is the Iowa City Public Library’s policy   Although ICPL’s plan has an umbrella plan for history, politics and travel, and the aspects related to travel is an ideal plan to consider. It addresses the need to consider a variety of travel guides for patron needs.

Selection of Materials:

The goal of the travel guides section is to present the user with variety of guides, since “Each imprint has its own special qualities to recommend its consideration.” (Feldman, 2008, 55)  Books will be selected through standard tools as well as through publisher’s catalogs.  “Each year Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Ingram, and Baker and Taylor have lists of best travel books” (Iowa City Recommendations for materials to add to the collection will be solicited from the faculty and returning study abroad students by means of a standardized form.  An example is the suggestion form used by the Wellesley College Library – This patron input will complement and enhance the librarian-selected materials.

Generally, each book will be available as one copy. Patron interest in the book will indicate need for additional copies. Series will be included in the collection as appropriate. “Libraries should provide a varied collection of series titles, even though this may appear at first glance too duplicative.” (Feldman, 2008, 55)  Examples of series travel guides to include in the collection are Fodor’sFrommer’sLonely PlanetLet’s Go and Rough Guides.  Nonseries books will also be reviewed for the collection, and examples include The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World and Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune: The Contrarian Traveler’s Guide to Getting More for Less

Magazines regarding travel will also be reviewed for subscription purchase. Examples of magazines to review for the collection include Arthur Frommer’s Budget TravelNational Geographic Traveler, and Travel & Leisure.

DVDs and electronic materials will be considered for inclusion. Some series guides and magazines offer DVD and electronic media through their websites such as Lonely Planet and Rough Guides

Maintenance and Weeding:

The maintenance needs of the most of this collection will be the same as the rest of the print collection in the library. The travel guides will need to be monitored for circulation and will need to be weeded and disposed of on a regular basis to maintain currency.  “Time-sensitive travel guidebooks usually expire sooner than passports. Titles over three years old are serious candidates for weeding. Remember that most imprints regularly update their offerings, add new destination titles, and keep their web sites au courant.”  (Feldman, 2008, 55) The limited web resources will need to be monitored by the staff on a regular basis to make sure the URLs are still correct and active.

Considerations (Advice from the Field):

“Travel materials are selected through the standard tools as well as through publisher’s catalogs such as Hunter, Lonely Planet, Fodor, Globe Pequot Press, and Rand McNally. MGPL has standing orders for many annual travel guide series such as Fodor’s, Fieldings, Frommers, Mobil, etc. Generally, one copy is purchased so that the library will have a wide spectrum of the world represented, but titles which are very popular, such as the Mobil guides, are often purchased in multiple copies.” (Morton Grove, 2006)

“It is important to replace worn or missing titles in the heavy circulating area of travel materials. It is also important to keep in touch with the changing needs of the community and to monitor the demand for specific titles and subject areas.” (Morton Grove, 2006)


Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records. (2008). Collection Development Training for Arizona Public Libraries. Retrieved December 9, 2008 from

Feldman, L. (2008, March 1). The world on a shoestring.(Collection Development: Budget Travel)(travel books)(Recommended readings). Library Journal, 133, 4. p.54(4). Retrieved December 03, 2008, from Academic OneFile

Iowa City Public Library. (2008) Travel, Politics and Travel Collection Plan. Retrieved December 8, 2008 from

Morton Grove Public Library. (2006, October 17). Collection development and materials selection policy: Geography and history (900-999). Retrieved December 6, 2008 from


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