Social Work Collection Development Policy


The collection supports the academic programs of the School of Social Work: these include programs at the undergraduate, master's, and doctoral level. The School also serves as a major postgraduate training center through which hundreds of area social workers deepen their professional knowledge and skills each year.

The B.S. and M.S.W. Programs incorporate a holistic approach to social work practice with individuals, families, and groups. The Advanced Certificate and Ph.D. Programs reflect the School's clinical orientation. Together, the Programs require resources which meet the needs of practitioners, researchers, and theoreticians.


  1. Language

    Our collecting efforts reflect the School's program emphases on the American social system and are largely limited to material either published in or translated into English. Major publications from Canada and Great Britain supplement United States publications.

  2. Chronological Periods

    Primarily twentieth-century and twenty-first century material is purchased in support of programs in the School. Curriculum emphases in the School are on recent developments, new forms of practice, major trends, and controversial issues.

Types of Materials

  1. Included

    Scholarly monographs, serials, collections of essays, conference proceedings, professional association publications, videos, and electronic resources are collected. Resources oriented toward the professional practitioner are chosen selectively, while those which meet the curricular and research needs of students and faculty are selected in greater depth.

  2. Excluded

    Pamphlets, newsletters, article reprints, and textbooks.

Strengths & Weaknesses of the Collection

The School of Social Work is well supported by the Library's social work and related collections and accession tools. Bobst subscribes to most journals indexed in Social Work Abstracts and Social Services Abstracts. Journal articles not included in the Bobst holdings are acquired through Interlibrary Loan. Because of the holistic nature of the discipline, the Library's collections in sociology, public administration, government documents, sociology, anthropology, education, and psychology significantly support the curricular and research needs of the School. (See collection policy statements in these areas.) In addition, collections in psychology and health sciences support the advanced clinical programs.

The selection of non-print resources is the current desired format. Concentration of selection includes scholarly research and publications directed at improving the practice of social work, evaluating social service and mental health programs, and developing new alternatives for meeting the needs of under-served populations. Among the current databases users can access from within the Library are Social Work Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts, PsychINFO, Sociological Abstracts, PAIS, ERIC, CINAHL, and Medline. Remote access to on-line databases is available to students and faculty through the NYU IT server. In addition, the Library's Social Work Subject Web Page offers links to various internet resources.

Other Resources

  1. Government Documents

    The library's extensive holdings of United States government publications constitute an important resource for the study of social work and urban public policy. Executive agencies and departments whose publications are especially relevant to social welfare policy and practice include the departments of Health and Human Services, Education, Labor, Justice, and Housing and Urban Development. Congressional hearings and reports also provide important information about the social welfare of the American people and the course of legislation designed to address social needs.

    The Library's U.S. Depository collection is supplemented by electronic files and microfiche sets, with accompanying indexes, for Congressional publications (CIS), and statistical publications of the federal government (ASI), state and local government, associations and research institutes (SRI), and international sources (IIS).

  2. Related Collections

    The Law Library and the Medical Library collections supplement our social work holdings in important ways. The Law Library collects local and state laws and regulations, as well as extensive material on the legal rights of the indigent and disabled. The Medical Library's extensive holdings in the areas of medical care, mental health, and gerontology provides an important resources for students emphasizing these.

    In the metropolitan area, the Columbia University Social Work Library is particularly strong in child welfare, gerontology, and international social work. The John Jay College of Criminal Justice library helps to support the research needs of social work students interested in the theoretical and practical aspects of criminal justice, delinquency, penology, and crime- victims' services. Hunter College is another library for social work resources.

Subjects & Collecting Levels

LC Class Subject ECS CCI
The Profession
HV11 Education and Training
Ethics and Values C C
Public and Interprofessional Relations B B
Standards and Practices B C
HV15 History of Social Work
and Social Welfare
Social Welfare Policy
Federal D D D D
State, Local, and Foreign B B
Human Services Evaluation B C
Social Work Administration B C
HV40-100 Social Work Practice
HV43 Social Casework C C
HV45 Group Work B C
Social Services for Special Clientele
HV697 Families, Mothers B C
HV701-1420 Children B C
HV1421-1441 Young Men and Women A B
HV1442-1448 Women B C
HV1450 Aged B C
HV1551-3003 Handicapped B C
HV3004-3009 Mentally Handicapped A B
HV3011-3024 Physically Handicapped A C
HV33 Delinquency B C
HV4961-5000 Degeneration B B
HV5001-5720 Alcoholism B C
HV5725-5840 Tobacco and Drug Abuse B C
HV6250 Victims of Crime B C
Social Work in NontraditionalSettings and Organizations A B
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