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last updated: 4/24/2012

Collection Development Policies - Optometry

Optometry Collection

  1. Introduction
    1. Purpose of the policy statement
      This policy provides guidelines which define and clarify the full scope of the Optometry Library's collection development activities, assigns responsibility for the development of the collection, and informs library users about the principles upon which the selection of materials is made.

    2. Audience
      The potential audience for this document consists of the following: Head, Optometry Library, Optometry Library staff, School of Optometry administration, Optometry Library Committee, Optometry Library patrons, IU Library administration.

      The Optometry Library collection development policy will be reviewed and revised periodically by the Head of the Optometry Library and by the Optometry Library Committee.

    3. Description of institution/department and clientele
      The School of Optometry is one of 18 optometry schools in North America. It offers the following degrees: Associate of Science in Optometric Technology/Opticianry; Bachelor of Arts in the B.A/O.D. Program; Special Bachelor of Science in Biology for Three-Year Pre-optometry Students; Bachelor of Science in Optometry; Doctor of Optometry; Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Vision Science. The School is consistently ranked among the top three North American schools of optometry. The School has 59 primary full- and part-time faculty members and 68 adjunct faculty members. The Optometry Library's clientele consists of its faculty, approximately 350 students, residents in Bloomington and several remote locations, other vision libraries, optometrists practicing in Indiana and elsewhere, and members of the general public.

      The Optometry Library's personnel consists of a FTE librarian (the Head) and 1 FTE clerical staff member. In addition, it has approximately 1.75 FTE in student hourly workers.

    4. Brief overview of the collection
      1. History of the collection
        The Optometry Library was founded in the mid-1950s as a reading room from the personal book collection of Noah A. Bixler, O.D. (1884-1959) and also from the contributions of other donors. In 1967 the library was established as a branch library in the IU Library system. A major gift of over 3,000 volumes was received from Dr. James Leeds, an optometrist and bibliophile, in 1993.

      2. Collection strengths and weaknesses
        The collection does not attempt to be historical in nature. Emphasis is on support of the School's current teaching and research missions. It is particularly strong due to an effort to deliberately blur the lines between the School's electronic resources and the library's resources. For instance, most of the Optometry Library's computer equipment was supplied by the School. In addition, School funds are occasionally used to purchase materials for the Library when they must be obtained immediately. The School's photograph and artifact collection is administered by the Head of the Optometry Library but supported by the School. The Library's web page resides on the School's web server, a benefit of Head's dual appointment as Director of Technology for the School of Optometry.

        The monographs collection is reasonably adequate for a collection in which monographs definitely are not of primary interest. The paper and electronic journal collection also is adequate to support current School activities, although more could always be added. There are no glaring gaps in the journal collection. A particular benefit is the availability to patrons of thousands of electronic journals via the IU Libraries which may not be vision-related but which nevertheless are important to faculty and students, particularly in the areas of neuroscience and psychology. The collection is notably weak in video materials. This is a traditional weakness, which is diminishing in importance as patron access to electronic teaching materials grows.

      3. Subject areas emphasized or deemphasized
        • Emphasized
          • optometry
          • ophthalmology
          • physiological optics (including the sensory mechanisms of vision, the functions of the intra-ocular and extra-ocular muscles, and the image forming mechanism of the eye)
          • anatomy, physiology, histology, neurology, biochemistry, pathology, and microbiology of the visual organs
          • psychology of visual and color perception
          • ocular pharmacology
          • occupational/environmental vision and illumination
          • optometric/ophthalmic photography
          • optics (geometric optics, laser, optical instruments and design, holography, glass)
          • social, legal, economic, and professional aspects of eye care
        • De-emphasized
          • Social pathology and public welfare of the blind and visually impaired
          • Braille and other materials intended for use by the blind and visually impaired
      4. Collection locations
        The entire collection is housed in the Optometry Library, which is located in room 301 of the Optometry Building.
  2. Scope of Coverage
    1. Languages collected and excluded
      Primary emphasis is on English language materials. Major western European language materials are limited to a few important monographs, some serials, and dictionaries. A few foreign language optometry journals are collected.

    2. Geographical areas covered and excluded
      While most contributions to the field of vision science come from North America, Europe, and Australia, there are no specific geographical restrictions on material acquired.

    3. Chronological periods covered and excluded
      The emphasis is on contemporary publications. However, major works in ophthalmology, optometry, and physiological optics from all time periods are considered.

    4. Formats collected and excluded
      1. Collected: relevant print and electronic materials (serials and monographs), machine-readable data files, a few microformats, slide sets, videocassettes.
      2. Excluded: archival materials for the profession, except those for this institution, foreign language textbooks, newspapers, audio recordings, braille materials, large print materials, most popular and pre-college level monographs and journals
  3. Collecting Responsibility
    The Head of the Optometry Library is responsible for the collection. Infrequent liaison is necessary with the Heads of the Life Sciences and Swain Hall Libraries.

  4. Related Collections
    Materials in the Swain Hall Library related to optics are related to this collection. Materials in the Life Sciences Library related to anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and pathology are related to this collection. Braille and large-print materials in the Monroe County Public Library are related to this collection.

  5. Principal Sources of Supply and Major Selection Tools
    The primary selection tool for monographs is the Science Approval Plan. In addition, publishers' catalogs and the acquisitions lists of other vision libraries are consulted, particularly for the publications of small, specialized presses. The primary selection tool for serials is input from colleagues in the Association of Vision Science Librarians, as well as faculty requests.

  6. Preservation
    1. Criteria for selection for preservation and/or mass deacidification
      The Optometry Library's collection is relatively new and in good condition. No deacidification activities are necessary or contemplated. Preservation activities are limited to materials that are damaged in circulation.

  7. Digital Projects
    1. Criteria for Selection for Digitization
      In the absence of materials that require digitization for preservation, the initiative for digitization is demand-by School faculty and students.

    2. Priorities for collections to be digitized
      1. Priority is given to digitizing of some reserve materials and class notes. These materials reside on the School of Optometry's server. Electronic journals are selected with the approval of the Optometry Library Committee and occasionally by consultation with the entire faculty.
      2. A pilot project is underway to videoarchive class sessions and post them on the web for asynchronous access. School resources are utilized for this project.
      3. The School's photograph collection and artifact collection are being digitized (using digital photographs for objects).
      4. An enormous quantity of instructional materials created by Optometry faculty with the able assistance of the staff of Optometry Technology Services is available to students using equipment provided by the School.
      5. As AVSL Archivist, Freeman is involved in a project to digitize the archives of the Association of Vision Science Librarians using School resources.
  8. Other Resources and Libraries
    Since libraries dedicated to vision science are relatively few and far between, the network of libraries comprising the Association of Vision Science Librarians is the principle support mechanism. This dynamic and collegial professional organization exists for informal support and resource sharing. Using modern technologies member libraries share materials and knowledge efficiently and in a timely manner.

  9. Consortial Agreements
    The Optometry library is a small, specialized collection housing primarily high-demand and intensively-used materials supporting a professional course of instruction for a small clientele. Students proceed through their course of study in a lockstep manner. Efficient and timely access to instructional material is essential, and the delivery of intensive information services is expected. The environment in other optometry schools is identical. In this context cooperative collection agreements are not realistic.

    AVSL members do share among themselves such materials as duplicates and journal issues required for binding, but there are no formal agreements to engage in cooperative collection development efforts.

Optometry Collection Home Page

Revised April 2012

last updated: 4/24/2012