NYU Abu Dhabi Library Collection Development Policy

NYUAD Library – New York University
Ginny Danielson, Associate Director for Public Services and Acting Library Director


The NYUAD Library exists to support the curricular and research needs of the faculty and students. NYUAD offers an emerging set of undergraduate programs in the sciences, arts and humanities: presently the academic program includes a core curriculum, nineteen academic majors, and two languages. NYUAD is an “institution at whose heart is a liberal arts college unmatched in its ability to equip graduates with the skills and wisdom for global leadership” (Chancellor Al Bloom, NYUAD Bulletin 2010-11, p. 2). The curriculum is trans-disciplinary and decidedly global in its orientation, moving away from models based solely on monuments of Western civilization.

NYUAD plans to develop as a leading center of intellectual discourse, research scholarship, and creative advancement. As such, the NYUAD Library--as part of the Global Network University-- aspires to become a full service research library with rich research collections in the sciences, arts, and humanities.

The library supports the freedom to access and read materials regardless of bias or controversy. The library collects materials that reflect the full range of political, religious, historical, scientific and social thought within its collection parameters. The library aspires to provide access that is barrier-free and efficient, whether online or in person. The library faculty and staff strive to provide the highest quality service and access to all patrons. The library respects personal privacy rights as well as intellectual property rights.


The first goal of the library collection is to provide truly comprehensive access to electronic scholarly resources by acquiring a high percentage of all such resources that support the research of the university. Secondly, the library will provide access to physical collections in areas not sufficiently covered, or in formats incompatible with electronic forms. To this end the library aims to collect 100,000 circulating items and 50,000 non-circulating special collection items as the basis of the print collection.

The library aims to provide an environment that encourages comparative study, so texts range from Russian literature and Egyptian history to Persian art and Indian religions. The collection will grow to facilitate study in multidisciplinary fields relevant to the school’s global environment, such as Arab Crossroads, Interactive Media, and Urbanization.

The library collects materials in all areas relevant to the curriculum and to the research agendas of the faculty. At present this range encompasses undergraduate major programs in Film, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Theater, Visual Arts, Economics, Political Science, Social Research, Public Policy, Biochemistry, Biology, Cognitive Science, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Arabic language, and Chinese language.

In the near future, the library will support pre-professional study in Business, Education, Journalism, Law, Social Entrepreneurship, Museum Studies, and Medicine. Library support for pre-professional studies and anticipated Graduate Programs will increase and receive more specific definition with time.

English is the primary language of the library collection, since it is the language of instruction at NYUAD. Materials in other languages are acquired selectively in support of the foreign language curriculum and other subject areas with a specific need for foreign language materials.

The collection covers primary and secondary sources from all time periods; however the collection currently holds more contemporary publications than retrospective titles. Some older materials are harder to acquire, which occasionally impacts the library’s coverage of older materials.

Special collections, by their nature, respond to unique opportunities for acquisition that support the research interests of the faculty. The NYUAD Library’s special collections will be defined and developed dynamically as faculty interests and activities emerge.

Types of materials included:

  • Monographic works, including books in physical and electronic formats
  • Databases of text, graphical and statistical information
  • Media including films in DVD format and music in CD format
  • Encyclopedias, dictionaries, and appropriate reference material primarily in electronic formats
  • Periodicals, primarily electronic in form, but supplemented with high-interest publications in print for current awareness use
  • Pamphlets, maps and notices of interest to the NYUAD community
  • Software to support research and the processing and creation of scholarly content

Materials in any and all formats are considered for acquisition by the library, but generally only the single most appropriate format will be acquired or retained. In providing materials for its community of users, the library will increasingly rely on online electronic resources. Materials will be chosen in the format with the highest utility, including consideration of indexed access, search-ability, quality, transportability and ease of accessing, processing, and manipulating information.

The library normally acquires and retains only one copy of any title. Multiple copies are acquired only when there is a demonstrated need.

Types of materials excluded: 

  • Obsolete formats for which support is difficult if not impossible, such as VHS
  • Juvenilia, cookbooks, self-help books, or travel guides
  • Military studies
  • Textbooks that are available in the NYUAD Bookstore

Analysis of the Collection's Strengths and Weaknesses:

The NYUAD Library’s greatest strength is its access to a vast array of electronic resources: the NYU Library system offers access to 95,000 journal titles, over 1,200 databases, and more than 700,000 ebooks. NYU faculty, staff, and students have access to these resources from anywhere in the world.

The current NYUAD Library collection offers over 1,700 video recordings that have been acquired in response to the teaching style and heuristic methods of the faculty. The extensive film collection is unique to the region in its scope and size; it will be further developed by assigning adequate budgets and applying advanced technologies.

The library also offers an unusually strong collection of language learning tools, including Rosetta Stone, Mango Languages, and SCOLA. These collections support the current instructional programs in Arabic and Mandarin Chinese, and offer lessons, texts and video content for more than ninety of the world’s languages.

The library actively acquires books by NYUAD faculty members, books published by the NYU Press, and materials that support presentations sponsored by NYUAD.

The current temporary campus at NYUAD limits the library’s space significantly, so the physical collection cannot grow at a faster pace due to space considerations. As time and space allow, the library will work to fill out the collection with retrospective titles that support the direction of scholarship at NYUAD.

Complementary Collections to the NYUAD Library 

Faculty and students may borrow books from the NYU Libraries in New York City, which hold approximately five million volumes. If a researcher needs material that is not available through NYU, he/she may request a title via Interlibrary loan services.

List the subject areas collected and rate existing collection strength (ECS) and current collecting intensity (CCI) according to the following scale. Some statements also indicate the desired level for the collection (DES).

A current subject-area rating would not be indicative of strengths and weaknesses for long, since the NYUAD library collections are so rapidly growing. We propose to delay this rating until at least mid-2012 in order to see a clearer pattern of developing strengths and objectives.


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