Education Collection Development Policy

Bobst Library, New York University
Scott Collard, Selector for Education


Material on education is purchased in support of a wide range of undergraduate- and graduate-level degree programs in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education offered by the Steinhardt School of Education as well as other programs in history, sociology, psychology, and linguistics. Major areas of emphasis include:

  • ICT/Computer technology applications
  • Higher education and administration
  • Curriculum development
  • Educational research
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Learning theories and styles
  • K-12 educational organization and administration
  • Educational finance
  • Educational philosophy
  • Educational psychology and counseling
  • Special education and inclusion materials
  • Bilingual education/TESOL/ESL/language acquisition
  • Educational policy

In addition, many School of Education programs are supported by other areas of the Bobst collection. Of particular interest are policy statements for Art & Architecture, Business, Communication, Medical & Health Sciences, Latin-American Studies, Music, Performing Arts, Psychology, Sociology, History, and Technology. In some areas, such as educational psychology, science education, and communication, overlap is extensive and selectors work together to assure appropriate coverage.


  1. Academic Levels Collected

    Materials related to all academic levels are collected, including infant and early childhood, K-12, undergraduate, and graduate levels.
  2. Languages

    Collecting is done almost exclusively in English. Monographs in foreign languages are purchased selectively, with emphasis on those materials that represent particularly strong areas of study internationally (e.g., early childhood education materials from Italy, etc.).
  3. Geographical Areas

    Education in the United States is the focus of our collecting effort. Considerable material on education in Great Britain and Canada is acquired for comparative purposes. English-language material in educational systems and comparative education throughout the world is also collected, especially pertaining to Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.
  4. Chronological Periods

    The collection emphasizes contemporary material on contemporary issues. Monographs on the history of education are selectively purchased. We possess an extensive collection on educational methods and philosophy going back to the last quarter of the 19th century. Retrospective purchasing, however, is rarely done for materials more than fifteen years old.

Types of Materials

The library generally collects monographs and serials aimed at either a scholarly or a practitioner audience. Serial subscriptions are collected in print or electronic format, but with a growing preference for electronic. Textbooks are not generally collected. Special attention is paid to a thorough and current selection of reference materials.

Curriculum materials collecting, though it does not strive for comprehensiveness, is done on a broad level and particularly in support of those areas emphasized by the Department of Teaching and Learning. These include materials related to science, history and social studies, mathematics, language arts and English, inclusion, and TESOL curricula. Curricula and technical report literature are also made available through ERIC and other microform sets. Lesson planning, activity guide, and teaching methods materials are selectively collected.

Electronic database utilities that support the research and learning of education faculty and students are heavily collected, and we currently subscribe to all the major database tools in the field, including ERIC; The Kraus Curriculum Development Collection; Education FullText and Retro; the Children's Literature Comprehensive Database; PsycInfo; and the citation indexes.

The library also "virtually" collects materials related to local and state educational institutions, including the websites, free publications, statistical materials, and administrative documents related to area school districts; and government documents pertaining to, and issued by, the U.S. Department of Education. Free online materials of interest to teachers, particularly related to curriculum development and class planning, are also collected after careful evaluation. These materials are periodically re-examined for currency, reliability, and appropriateness.

Instructional media, software, and kits designed for elementary and secondary school audiences are generally not collected, except in very special cases. Tests and scales are not collected except as they are reproduced in journals or monographs.

The library maintains and adds to, on an occasional basis, a small, core collection of children's literature, focused almost exclusively on K-6 materials; this collection includes a small number of alternate format children's titles (Braille and sign-language). Special emphasis is given to award-winning children's literature.

Strengths & Weaknesses of the Collection

The library strongly supports the field of education. The library has substantial book and journal holdings, and our electronic collections continue to grow in strength and usefulness. The library is actively engaged in increasing its holdings of materials related to "standards-based" education. As a depository library, Bobst has excellent holdings of U.S. Government information related to education, and owns among these items a wealth of policy papers, statistical material and records of congressional hearings on educational issues, as well as the entire ERIC microfiche collection. International and transnational government documents pertaining to education matters may also be included in the library's extensive United Nations Documents collections. Efforts are being made to expand our curricular materials and instructional media materials, with an emphasis on providing online, distributed access to curricular materials wherever possible (e.g., Kraus Curriculum; ENC), and when there are specific needs that match the goals of Steinhardt and the library.

Other Resources

The International Documents collection provides access to educational materials from UNESCO and the OECD. The Tamiment library contains research materials on workers' education and holds many of the administrative and historical records of the United Federation of Teachers. The NYU Law Library has extensive holdings in materials related to legislative, policy and legal issues in education. NYU Archives is a rich resource in the history of education and the School of Education at NYU. Among the other educational collections in the city, Teachers College is notable for international, comparative, and historical education collections, and Bank Street has historically been strong in early childhood materials.

Subject & Collection Levels

Note: For an explanation of these collecting levels, see the following page:

LC Class Subject Existing Current Desirable
LA History of Education
U.S. C C C
Foreign B B C
LB 5-1055 Principles & Philosophy of Education C C C
LB 1026-1043 Experiment, Research and Technological Application C C C
LB 1050 Reading C C C
LB 1051-1011 Educational Psychology B C C
LB 1100-1600 Early Childhood Education B C C
LB 1603-1699 Secondary Education C C C
LB 1705-2285 Teachers B C C
LB 2300-2400 Higher Education B C C
LB 2503-2797 Law & Legislation B B B
Federal Law & Legislation D D
NY State (at Law Library) C-D D
LB 2800-3000 School Administration C C C
LB 3051 Educational Tests and Measurements (works about) C C C
LB 3205-3295 Educational Facilities B B B
LC 71-250 Sociology of Education C C C
LC 1043-1044 Vocational Education B B B
LC 1401-2301 Education of Women B C C
LC 2600-2900 Ethnic and Racial Minorities B C C
LC 3951-4815 Special Education C C C
LC 5015-5051 Workers Education (see esp. Tamiment Library) C C D
LC 5105-5143 Urban Education C C C
LD-LG Histories of Individual Institutions B A-B B
New York University (see policy statement for NYU Archives) C C C
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