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Introduction to Collection Development Policy Statements

Collection development policy statements for the NYU Bobst Library collections have been written with several purposes in mind. They comprise a plan for the future growth of the collection, a tool for delineating collecting priorities, and a guide for those charged with responsibility for selecting materials in a variety of formats. The statements were written by the library's subject specialist librarians in consultation with the teaching faculty. The process of writing the statements has served to help all those involved in building the collection articulate clear goals for its development. The ultimate goal of the Library's collection development program is to ensure that the collection provides strong support for the teaching and research programs of the University. The policy statements are, therefore, not static documents. Rather, they are revised as necessary to reflect changes in the curriculum and the collection.

Each statement includes a discussion of the purpose of the collection and the foci of the academic program(s) it supports. It describes the scope of the collection, the types of materials included and excluded and an analysis of the collection's strengths and weaknesses. The statement also identifies other collections that complement the one in Bobst Library. Finally, the statements 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).

  • Level O.

    Out of scope. No works are acquired on this topic or in this area with the possible exception of a few fundamental reference works.
  • Level A.

    Basic level. This level describes a highly selective collection, including introductory background, and fundamental material and basic reference works, that serve to introduce and define the subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere. It includes major dictionaries and encyclopedias, selected editions of important works, historical surveys, important bibliographies, and a few major periodicals.
  • Level B.

    Study level: MA and Undergraduate. This level is intended to support undergraduate or graduate course work, or sustained independent study, i.e., which is adequate to maintain knowledge of a subject required for limited or generalized purposes of less than research intensity. It includes a wide range of basic monographs, complete collections of the works of important writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject.
  • Level C.

    Research level. This level is intended to support ongoing research or likely future leading to the Ph.D. It includes the major published source materials required for dissertations and independent research, all important reference works and a wide selection of specialized monographs and other secondary literature as well as an extensive collection of journals.
  • Level D.

    Advanced research level. This level is intended to support doctoral and post-doctoral research with a high degree of adequacy. In addition to printed and microform material, it may include manuscripts and other special materials if they are appropriate and within the library's financial capabilities. It allows for indefinite expansion of the research program both at the level of faculty and post-doctoral, and Ph.D. research.
  • Level E.

    Intensive level. This level describes the effort to acquire so far as is reasonable all available significant works of recorded knowledge for a necessarily defined and limited field, i.e., an intensive effort to acquire manuscript, archival and ephemeral materials, etc., in addition to published sources. This level creates or maintains a special collection; the aim, if not the achievement, is exhaustiveness.

Bobst Library participates in local, regional and national cooperative efforts that help stretch its resources. We are fortunate to be located in a city with incomparable library collections and we collaborate with our colleagues at other institutions to maximize local resources. It remains our goal, however, to build a strong local collection in those areas that are central to the University's programs of teaching and research. These policies serve as a plan and a tool to help us achieve that goal.

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