Collection Development Policy

Table of Contents

I. Mission Statement
II. Purpose of the FIMS Collections Management Policy
III. Definition of the FIMS User Community
IV. Resource-Based Goals
V. Responsibility for Selection
VI. Selection Guidelines: Core Curricular Materials
VII. Selection Guidelines: Other
VIII. Specific Policies Governing Types and Formats of Materials
IX. Resource Access
X. Review

I. Mission Statement: FIMS Graduate Library

The mission of the FIMS Graduate Library is twofold:

  • to provide human, print and electronic resources and services necessary to advance the use of information and the use of media and information technologies in the graduate programs of Health Information Science, Journalism, Library and Information Science, Media Studies and Popular Music and Culture
  • to provide the FIMS undergraduate MIT (Media, Information and Technoculture) faculty with resources in support of their teaching needs

The Grad Library collection is non-circulating.

II. Purpose of the FIMS Collections Management Policy

The Faculty of Information and Media Studies is a dynamic structure. Incorporating the Graduate Schools of Journalism, Library and Information Science, Popular Music and Culture, Media Studies and the development of the undergraduate MIT program has meant a significant change to the materials collected within the Grad Library. More recently, the development of the MA and PhD programs in Health Information Science has added another dimension.

Multi-disciplinary approaches to information, new courses, new programs, and the increasing costs of materials necessitate a written policy intended to balance requests and funds while responding to changing curricular needs. Not all requests can be met due to budgetary and space restrictions.

III. Definition of the FIMS User Community

The FIMS Graduate Library provides resources in support of the graduate curricula of the Master’s and PhD level programs in Health Information Science, Library and Information Science and Media Studies and the Master’s level Programs in Journalism and Popular Music and Culture. Users from these identified groups include regular and special full-time and part-time graduate FIMS students, and the staff and faculty of FIMS. Alumni may visit the Grad Library to use the resources on site. In addition, the resources support the teaching needs of faculty, full-time and sessional, for the FIMS undergraduate program in Media, Information and Technoculture (MIT).

The user community does not include the undergraduate students in the MIT program. Western Libraries, and specifically the D.B. Weldon Library, meets the collections needs of the latter user segment.

IV. Resource-Based Goals

  • to identify the collecting interests and areas of the FIMS Graduate Library;
  • to provide materials in appropriate formats which directly support or enhance the FIMS graduate curricular, reference and teaching needs. This includes materials in print, non-print, and electronic formats;
  • to provide access to electronic-based information resources including online services and products in support of the graduate curricula;
  • to work with faculty to ensure that the resources meet the needs of the current and future FIMS programs or courses;
  • to seek instructional license agreements from vendors whose products would enhance or help fulfill the information-seeking needs of the graduate programs;
  • to select, organize, maintain and provide access to tools, in appropriate formats, that support the teaching needs of the undergraduate MIT faculty;
  • to provide, in a timely manner, the delivery of and access to these resource materials;
  • to establish the resources that enhance the curricula of the FIMS graduate and undergraduate programs and which are housed within the University Libraries.

V. Responsibility for Selection

The collections in the FIMS Graduate Library represent the core resources for the curricula of the graduate programs in at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies. Periodicals, monographs, non-print and electronic resources will be purchased which directly support the curricular needs of the graduate programs and the teaching needs of the MIT faculty.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to make recommendations for the purchase of materials. While faculty involvement is deemed critical in suggesting materials for the collections, it is the FIMS Librarian, who manages the Grad Library and is responsible for the selection, acquisition, and maintenance of the Grad Library collections. Resources for core courses will be reviewed from Annual Review of Required Course documents presented to the MLIS Program Committee.

Collections within Western Libraries enhance the core resources located at GRC. The FIMS Librarian is responsible for collection development in the subject areas of primary interest to the FIMS programs. The FIMS Librarian will work to select appropriate materials and to design/review collections profiles filed with approved vendors in support of collections development for FIMS-related materials housed in the D.B. Weldon Library. The FIMS Librarian will work collegially with Western Libraries collections librarians, such as education and health sciences, where there is potential overlap in collecting interests.

VI. Selection Guidelines: Core Curricular Materials

The collections in the FIMS Graduate Library represent the core resources for the curricula of the graduate programs in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies. Periodicals, monographs, non-print and electronic resources will be purchased which directly support the curricular needs of the graduate programs and the teaching needs of the MIT faculty, within specific budgetary and space constraints. These materials are representative of the major authors, organizations, history, trends and issues within the fields.

Core subject areas for journalism include (but are not exclusive to) the theory, history, ethics, law, issues and requirements of journalistic and media related work settings, and research methodologies relevant to the profession.

Core subject areas for media studies include (but are not exclusive to): the role of contemporary media in culture, politics and society; associated technologies, institutions and practices; economic and regulatory contexts of their operation; and relevant research methods.

Core subject areas for library and information science include (but are not exclusive to) the theory, policies, practices, access to and issues surrounding the consideration of specific kinds of library materials and information resources; the physical, bibliographic and topical organization of all types of materials; the specific needs of users and the services to meet these needs; contemporary management theory; research methods; information technology and information management settings.

  • Examples of these materials include titles specifically related to courses such as the LCSH, AACRII; electronic resources such as DIALOG and Library Literature which give students access to indexed, abstracted, and full-text materials; and directories relating to the profession such as the American Library Directory and Directory of Canadian Journalists.

Core subject areas for Popular Music and Culture include popular culture history and popular music history and criticism.

VII. Selection Guidelines: Other

  1. Language: Priority is given to publications and non-print materials in the English language, although French language materials on Canadian library, journalism, media or communications issues would be considered.
  2. Country of Origin: Wherever possible, materials produced in North America will be given priority with an emphasis on Canadian content. Announcements and reviews of materials form the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia are scanned for selection in support of particular courses and research of a comparative nature, or with international scope.
  3. Chronology: Focus will be on contemporary materials which reflect the issues, developments, and organizational behaviour of the professions. Periodicals will only be held in the GRC for a maximum of ten (10) current years. Popular titles (Maclean’s) will be held for a maximum of two (2) years in the Grad Library. Current monographic titles will be held for 10 years. Exceptions to the 10-year rule will be made for monograph titles which are definitive works in the subject areas. Materials purchased for reserve will be placed in the IMSSTK area when not specified for reserve.
  4. Level of Collection: The collection will include the most important primary and secondary literature in support of the curricula. It will include key journals on the primary topics and selected journals on secondary topics. Access will be provided to appropriate level electronic indexes and resources. In addition, pertinent print reference materials will be collected and maintained to meet the needs of the FIMS graduate programs. Materials which further enhance the core curricular needs will be recommended for purchase by Western Libraries.
  5. New Courses and Programs: It is recommended that the collection staff of the Grad Library be kept advised of new course or program offerings. The Librarian should work in conjunction with the faculty and program committees in determining the collection needs in support of new courses or programs. Adequate time for purchase or negotiation of licenses for electronic materials is necessary.
  6. Binding: The Grad Library binds most scholarly periodicals. Exceptions to this include weekly news magazines such as Maclean. Titles which do not have a “long shelf life” and/or are ephemeral materials will not be bound. Monographs will be bound or rebound when damaged or as high demand necessitates.
  7. Inter-Library Loan: Western Libraries is responsible for Inter-Library loan services for students, staff and faculty. Book borrowing through the ILL system is generally free. In addition, photocopied articles are received from other Canadian academic libraries via Ariel, fax, the Inter-University Transit System (IUTS) and mail. The Grad Library uses the WL-ILL service to request materials from non-WL libraries that will be placed on reserve at the Grad Library. The Grad Library does not physically loan its materials for ILL, but fulfill photocopy requests as necessary.
  8. Evaluation: The FIMS Graduate Library periodical collections will be reviewed every two (2) years. Ongoing reviews of monographic materials will be done in conjunction with course reviews.
  9. Weeding/Replacement: In conjunction with the evaluation above will be a weeding project. Where deemed appropriate (and as stated above) older materials (monographs and periodicals) will be sent to WL for storage. Replacement for core materials will occur when materials are updated, missing, or severely damaged.
  10. Intellectual Freedom: The FIMS Graduate Library upholds the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights and the Canadian Library Association Statement On Intellectual Freedom.
  11. Formats: The Grad Library collects core curricular publications and reference works in the format best suited to support the educational and teaching needs of the graduate students and faculty, as outlined above.

VIII. Specific policies governing types and formats of materials

  • Books/monographs: are collected to support course or teaching needs of the graduate students and faculty. In addition, some works will be collected to support the teaching needs of the MIT faculty. Both hard cover and paperbacks are collected with the determining factors affecting format, anticipated use, and “shelf life”. Monographs will be purchased deemed “core” to the course offerings. These items will be current, authoritative, representing either an introduction to the issue or subject material or a more in-depth study relevant to the course offerings. Discretion will be used for duplication of items in Western Libraries’ collections. Most titles are purchased through Coutts Information Services online collection site (OASIS).
  • Journals/periodicals: are acquired through subscription. Most titles will be purchased through an agent (currently Swets). Individual reprints of articles are rarely purchased. Exceptions to this rule are photocopies or reprints of articles needed for reserve in direct support of the curricula. Periodicals and indexes will be collected for the subject content relative to the graduate courses offered. In-depth, indexed, scholarly and current works will be given preference. Memberships will be sought and maintained for the main organizations representing the professions. Indexes in electronic or print format will be evaluated with respect to the subject areas and journals covered, currency, accuracy, and ease of use. Electronic journals and indexes will be further evaluated by: cost, ease of use, coverage, compatibility with hardware/software, full-text, web-based or duplication of paper copy. Cancellation of paper subscriptions, in favour of electronic media, will be done on a case-by-case basis taking into account archiving policies of the journal providers and the availability of copy elsewhere on campus. Duplication with paper copy will exist for products used on a comparative basis for indexing such as Library Literature.

The FIMS user community has available, through WL, “backruns” of selected academic journals in full-text digital format from JSTOR (Journal STORage), an electronic archive established in New York in 1994. As well, Project Muse, from John Hopkins Press, offers similar access to its own journals and those of other academic presses in full-text, full image electronic format.

  • Monographic series: are acquired as individual titles or through standing order where deemed appropriate.
  • Newspaper subscriptions: the following newspaper subscriptions will be carried by the Grad Library to support the graduate program of journalism: Globe and Mail, London Free Press (weekday editions). The Globe & Mail and London Free Press will have multiple copies purchased during the “print cycle” of the Journalism program. One copy of each paper will reside in the Grad Library for two weeks. Back issues and microfilm copies of the Globe and Free Press are available in Western Libraries.
  • DVD, Film, Videos, and Audio-visual Materials: these media are collected with discretion in the graduate programs. They are purchased to directly support or augment the curricular resources. The MIT faculty’s teaching requirements allow for the purchase of specific titles which directly support the teaching needs of the faculty. DVD, films, and videos will be evaluated by: cost, quality, availability and relevance to curricula. Public Performance Rights will be purchased with all audio-visual materials when available.
  • Online Resources: Online resources must meet the LAN and the hardware requirements within the computer labs. All license agreements must be valid before a product is to be made publicly accessible to the FIMS graduate community. All products will be evaluated on relevance to curricula, cost, ease of use, compatibility with existing hardware/software, ease of maintenance, and ability to update. It is the responsibility of the FIMS Graduate Library Librarian to ensure that security is maintained. Staff in the Grad Library provide help and access to these latter named products but are not responsible for the selection and/or acquisition.
    NOTE: software supporting the curriculum of the graduate programs is the responsibility of the FIMS Manager of Computing Services.
  • URLs: The staff of the Grad Library will find, make accessible and maintain on the intranet site URLs for websites that are helpful to the academic goals of the graduate programs.
  • Government Documents: Canadian government documents pertaining to the laws and regulations regarding libraries and mass media may be purchased for the Grad Library on a selective basis. Western Libraries is a depository library for government documents and as such will provide access to relevant materials.

IX. Resource Access

The collections of the FIMS Graduate Library are for use in the Centre only. Reserve materials are available to students for 2 hours within the Grad Library and associated Computer Labs. Exceptions to this policy are materials needed for classroom demonstration, FIMS faculty course preparation and FIMS PhD needs. Special circumstance borrowing can be arranged at the discretion of the regular full-time staff. Copying patterns dictate that the Grad Library have at least two “heavy duty” photocopiers to handle user needs.

Due to the space limitations, the FIMS Librarian reserves the right to limit the number of monographs placed on reserve for each course.

Increasing reliance on electronic and related resources requires that the technology available in the Grad Library and the associated Computer Labs be adequately powerful and that there be workstations in sufficient numbers to give appropriate levels of access to students, staff and faculty.

X. Review

The Collections Development Policy for the FIMS Graduate Library should be reviewed every two years. The Policy should also be reviewed in the event of any major changes in the graduate curricula.

Last Revised: August 2013 [Student Assistant and FIMS Librarian]
Last Reviewed: December 2012 [FIMS Librarian, Graduate Resource Centre]
Revision pending: March 2011 HIS: OCGS approval 
Last Reviewed: January 2011 [FIMS Librarian, Graduate Resource Centre]
Revision: August, 2002 [GRC Coordinator: addition of Media Studies]
Last Reviewed: October, 2000 [Resource Planning Committee]