DEFINITION AND DESCRIPTION OF COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT LEVELS


The heart of a collection development policy is clearly to be found in the designation of desired subject areas and collection levels. The following definitions of collection levels are taken from the Pacific Northwest Conspectus Database, Pacific Northwest Collection Assessment Manual, 2d ed. Salem, OR: Pacific NW Conspectus Database, Oregon State library Foundation, 1988.

Description of PNCD collection levels:

0. Out of scope: The library does not collect in this area (for example, "technical agriculture" or "mechanics" in the Hamerlsy Library).

1a. Minimal, with uneven coverage: Unsystematic representation of subject (for example, "agriculture").

1b. Minimal, but well chosen: Few selections made, but basic authors, core works, and ideological balance are represented. Can support fundamental inquiries (for example, "oceanography").

2a. 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, historical surveys, bibliographies, and periodicals in the minimum number that will serve the purpose. A basic information collection can support school instruction and routine public inquiries, but is not sufficiently intensive to support higher-level academic courses, independent study or the wide-ranging recreational reading demands of a highly educated general public (for example, "physics").

2b. Augmented information level: As above, except more major periodicals, selected editions of important works, wider selection of reference materials (for example, "geology").

3a. Basic study level: Includes the most important primary and secondary literature, a selection of basic representative journals/periodicals, and the fundamental reference and bibliographical tools pertaining to the subject. Adequate for curriculum support for basic undergraduate instruction. Adequate for independent study and for the lifelong learning needs of the general public, with coverage at all appropriate reading levels (for example, "mathematics").

3b. Intermediate study level: As above, except a wider range of basic monographs, wider selection of the more important writers and secondary materials, stronger journal/periodical support. Collection adequate to support University-level term paper writing (for example, "psychology").

3c. Advanced study level: As above, except adequate for honors undergraduate or most graduate instruction or sustained independent study; adequate to maintain knowledge of a subject required for limited or general purposes but not strong enough for original research in a subject. It includes complete collections of the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals/periodicals, and all the reference tools and fundamental bibliographic apparatus pertaining to the subject (for example, "education").

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 journals and major indexing and abstracting services in the field. Older material is retained for historical research (no example in this library).

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 (no example in this library).

The library has regrouped the PNCD collections levels into the following five categories:

0: Out of Scope or minimal coverage, equal to PNCD Levels 0, 1a, and 1b;

LEVEL I: provides support for courses at the lower division level, equal to PNCD Levels 2a and 2b;

LEVEL II: provides support for courses at the upper division level and in pursuit of the undergraduate major, equal to PNCD Levels 3a and 3b;

LEVEL III: provides support for programs at the master's degree level, equal to PNCD Level 3c;

LEVEL IV: provides support for programs at the advanced graduate level leading to the doctorate, equal to PNCD Levels 4 and 5