Collection Development Policies: Levels of Collection
Two values, represented by numbers and letters, are given for each sub-subject, and a third will occasionally be present. The first value indicates the Current Collection Strength, and the second indicates the Current Collecting Intensity. The third value, when present, indicates the Desired Collection Intensity. By scanning the values from top to bottom the reader can quickly ascertain which subject areas the Library considers in need of strengthening and where the Library would put additional resources if they were available. As policy statements are revised, this third value will be added.
The values are those developed by the Research Libraries Group according to the follow scheme:
- 0 Out of Scope: the library does
not collect in this area.
- 1 Minimal Level: a subject area
in which few selections are made beyond very basic
- 2 Basic Information Level: a
collection of up-to-date general materials that serve to
introduce and define a subject and to indicate the
varieties of information available elsewhere. It may
include dictionaries, encyclopedias, selected editions of
important works, historical surveys, bibliographies,
handbooks, a few major periodicals, in the minimum number
that will serve the purpose. A basic information
collection is not sufficiently intensive to support any
courses or independent study in the subject involved.
- 3 Instructional Support Level: a
collection that is adequate to support undergraduate and
MOST graduate instruction or sustained independent study;
that is adequate to maintain knowledge of a subject
required for a limited or generalized purposes, of less
than research intensity. It includes a wide range of
basic monographs, complete collections of the works of
more important writers, a selection of representative
journals, and the reference tools and fundamental
bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject.
- 4 Research Level: a collection
that includes the major published source materials
required for dissertations and independent research,
including materials containing research reporting new
findings, scientific experimental results, and other
information useful to researchers. It is intended to
include all important reference works and a wide
selection of specialized monographs, as well as a very
extensive collection of journals and major indexing and
abstracting services in the field. Older material is
retained for historical research.
- 5 Comprehensive Level: a
collection in which a library endeavors, so far as is
reasonably possible, to include all significant works of
recorded knowledge (publications, manuscripts, other
forms), in all applicable languages, for a necessarily
defined and limited field. This level of collecting
intensity is one that maintains a "special collection":
the aim, if not the achievement, is exhaustiveness. Older
material is retained for historical research.
In addition the following language codes are frequently added to the values:
- E English language material
predominates; little or no foreign language material in
- F Selected foreign language
material include, primarily Western European, in addition
to the English language material.
- W Wide selection of foreign
language material in addition to the English language
- Y Material is primarily in one