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last updated: 4/20/2012

Collection Development Policies - Chemistry


  1. Introduction
    1. Purpose of the policy statement
      This Collection Development Policy is a general statement of goals for development of the collection. It should serve as a guide for library staff involved in collection development decisions and also informs library users at the University and elsewhere about the Library's selection principles.

    2. Audience
      The main audience members are the primary users of the chemistry collection and librarians at IUB.

    3. Description of institution/department and clientele
      The chemistry collection in the Chemistry Library supports undergraduate and graduate instruction through the Ph.D., as well as University-sponsored research by faculty. In November 2004 there were 33 faculty members, 15 scientists, 59 post-doctoral fellows, 140 graduate students, 260 undergraduate students (includes biochemistry) in the Department. The Chemistry Department participates in the Biochemistry Program and the Chemical Physics Program. This interdisciplinary program involves the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, as well as the Medical Sciences Program and School of Optometry. In the fall 2004 semester there are 16 Ph.D. students in this program. Members of the general public also use the collections.

    4. Brief overview of the collection
      1. History of the collection
        The core collection of the original Chemistry Library was donated by Dr. Robert Edward Lyons around 1895. Most of those early works are still in the book collection with his book plates on them. From 1895-1931, the Chemistry Library was housed in a room in Wylie Hall. It was moved to the ground floor of the new Chemistry Building in the early 1930s. Chemistry Department secretaries oversaw the collection until the first librarian was hired in 1941. The library was extensively remodeled and enlarged around 1965, and the present quarters were occupied during the remodeling and expansion of the Chemistry Building in the early 1990s.

      2. Collection strengths and weaknesses
        The collection is strong in electronic journals and electronic reference tools, including Beilstein and Gmelin CrossFire system, SciFinder Scholar for access to databases provided by Chemical Abstracts Service, Analytical Abstracts, and the Cambridge Structural Database. Like other science libraries, our current journal collection is much smaller now than it used to be. This is due to several factors such as journal prices outpacing allocations, changes in faculty research areas, and improved document delivery. The print journal collection has shrunk by more than two thirds in the last 35 years, now numbering fewer than 200 titles.

      3. Subject areas emphasized or deemphasized
        The main strengths of the collection are in analytical chemistry and organic chemistry.

      4. Collection locations
        The majority of the physical collection is either in the Chemistry Library or in ALF (a high-density shelving facility that is not open to the public but with delivery to campus libraries). Approximately one-half of the journal collection is in ALF. Microform material, originally from Chemistry, Life Sciences and Swain Hall libraries, was moved to GIMSS (Government Information, Microforms & Statistical Services) in early 2004.
  2. Scope of Coverage
    1. Languages collected and excluded
      Currently almost all of the collection is English. Older foreign language materials are mostly in German and French.

    2. Geographical areas covered and excluded

    3. Chronological periods covered and excluded
      The current focus is to only acquire current material.

    4. Dates of publication of materials collected; current vs. retrospective coverage
      Current material only is actively acquired.

    5. Formats collected and excluded
      Print and electronic are the predominant formats. A few CD ROMs are occasionally purchased or come with books. Microform materials are no longer collected and are being moved to GIMSS (Government Information, Microforms & Statistical Services) in the Main Library. Textbooks used in chemistry courses as well as selected advanced textbooks are collected. Basic undergraduate textbooks whose primary function is instruction are usually excluded.
  3. Collecting Responsibility
    Roger Beckman, Head Life Sciences and Chemistry Library

  4. Related Collections
    Related collections are found in the Swain Hall Library (e.g., physics), the Life Sciences Library (e.g., biochemistry), the SPEA Library (e.g. environmental chemistry), and the Geosciences Library. History is mainly covered by History and Philosophy of Science and Lilly.

  5. Principal Sources of Supply and Major Selection Tools
    The principal sources for books are through the approval plans (trade and university publishers). Other information is gleaned from publisher announcements and the CHMINF-L and arl-chem listservs.

  6. Preservation
    1. Criteria for selection for preservation and/or mass deacidification
      The majority of materials selected for preservation or conservation action are circulation driven, i.e., high use. Some material is selected for preservation because of its importance as a physical artifact

    2. High-priority areas of the collection for preservation review and treatment
      The collect is in fairly good condition because the librarians in the Chemistry Library have actively identified material, e.g., journals with loose pages or books with loose of missing covers, and had it repaired when possible. Older material that has intrinsic value should be examined for possible preservation treatment.
  7. Selection Criteria for ALF
    Materials selected for ALF include books that are dated and have no or little indication of recent usage, periodicals that are not heavily used, and journals, abstracts, and indexes that are available electronically in full-text. Recently, space considerations have forced us to move periodicals off site that are used occasionally by our clientele. Much of the material that is now in ALF was housed on the 5th floor of the West Tower of the Main Library before it was moved to ALF.

  8. Digital Projects
    1. Criteria for selection for digitization
      There are not many needs in this area that could be done locally.

    2. Priorities for collections to be digitized
  9. Other Resources and Libraries
    The chemistry libraries at Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame are other resources in the state of Indiana.

  10. Consortial Agreements
    None, although the Libraries do participate with the CIC or other Indiana University campuses in acquiring resources at a consortial discount.

Chemistry Home Page

Revised April 2012

last updated: 4/20/2012