Best Sellers

Best Sellers was a book review publication produced by The University of Scranton from 1941 to 1987, which had an international readership. The publication grew out of a meeting of the Catholic Library Association around 1940. The group wanted an objective guide to books coming onto the market for libraries to use to make collection acquisition selections.

In 1941, three University of Scranton faculty members (Dr. Leonard Wolf, at the time as assistant professor of biology and later head of that department, librarian Eugene Willging, and Dr. Austin J. App, an instructor in the English department) launched and operated the service. In 1948, at the urging of Rev. William B. Hill, the University itself assumed responsibility for the publication.

After its longtime editor, Rev. Edward J. Gannon, S.J., passed away in 1986, The University of Scranton decided to end its subsidy of the publication due to rising costs, as well as the fact that libraries now had a number of similar publications in which to guide their collection acquisition selections.

Best Sellers had a mailing of more than 3,000 subscribers twice a month, and the publication had more than 300 regular reviewers from 36 states.