Contact Information
last updated: 9/5/2012

Collection Development Policies - Sociology


  1. Introduction
    1. Purpose of the policy statement
      This statement is intended to guide the manager of the Sociology fund (fund 93) and the Class of 1967 Robert H. Shaffer Book Endowment fund (fund f3) by explaining the purpose and scope of the collection, describing who it serves, and outlining how this fund meshes with the library funds for related subject areas.

    2. Audience
      The primary audience is made up of collection managers and other librarians and library staff.

    3. Description of institution/department and clientele
      The sociology collection supports upper division undergraduate and graduate teaching and research to the PhD level as well as faculty research. The department has 29 FTE faculty, 6 emeritus faculty, 85 graduate students in residence, 228 student majors, and 200 student minors.

      Areas emphasized by the department are: theory, political sociology, culture, economic sociology, deviance, crime and delinquency, mental health, sexuality, gender, medical sociology, methodology, social stratification, sociology of religion, social psychology, emotions, sociology of education, childhood and adolescence, social change, social interaction and communication, small groups, evaluation research, demography, social organization and organizations, sociolinguistics, family, social policy, sociology of knowledge, science and technology studies, statistics, collective behavior, urban sociology, history of social ideas and theory, social conflict, and race and ethnic relations. The department is recognized as a national leader in social psychology, social stratification, and for excellence in training graduate students as teachers.

    4. Brief overview of the collection
      1. History of the collection
        The IU Libraries have had a subject librarian for sociology since at least 1965.

      2. Collection strengths and weaknesses
        The Sociology collection covers all areas of sociology, with particular strengths in general and theoretical sociology, social psychology (HM251-291), general social science (H1-99), social history and social problems (HN1-981), and statistics (HA1-4737). Our holdings on sexuality (HQ12-472) are among the largest in North America.

      3. Subject areas emphasized or deemphasized
        Areas of emphasis include social psychology, sexuality and gender, methodology, history of sociology, and social movements. Applied materials and social work materials are deemphasized for the sociology fund, but are collected by other relevant funds (see below under III).

      4. Collection locations
        Most of the collection is located on the 7th floor of Research Collections.
  2. Scope of Coverage
    1. Languages collected and excluded
      Most of the collection is in English, but major works in western European languages are also included.

    2. Geographical areas covered and excluded
      North America and Western Europe are covered comprehensively. Limited coverage is given to Asian countries and Oceania. Africa, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and Latin America and the Caribbean are covered by the pertinent area studies librarians.

    3. Chronological periods covered and excluded
      All chronological periods are covered, with emphasis on the last one hundred years.

    4. Dates of publication of materials collected; current vs. retrospective coverage
      Emphasis is on current coverage.

    5. Formats collected and excluded
      Most of the collection is in print format, but microform and electronic formats are also collected. Our microform holdings emphasize the history of social movements. Datasets are excluded; these may be fund in the Schuessler Institute for Social Research ( or the Political Science Data Lab (
  3. Collecting Responsibility
    Collection Manager: Moira Smith. We cooperate with librarians for the Public Health Library for works in applied topics, alcoholism and drugs, and aging and gerontology. Most works in city and regional planning are covered by the Business/SPEA library. Some works in the area of social problems are covered by the librarian for Criminal Justice. Sexuality, homosexuality, etc. are covered partly by the Sociology fund and by the Gender Studies fund. Social Work has a separate fund.

  4. Related Collections
    • Gender Studies
    • GIMSS (for statistical information)
    • History and Philosophy of Science
    • Kinsey Institute Library
    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Business/SPEA Library
    • Education Library
    • Public Health Library
  5. Principal Sources of Supply and Major Selection Tools
    • Blackwell approval plan
    • Harrasowitz approval plan (selectively)
    • Book reviews (especially Contemporary Sociology)
    • Catalogs
  6. Preservation
    1. Criteria for selection for preservation and/or mass deacidification
      Follow the physical criteria specified by the Preservation Department.

    2. High-priority areas of the collection for preservation review and treatment
      Materials that have few holdings in OCLC should receive first priority. Other criteria for priority: IU authors; local (Indiana) interest; and material that circulates often.
  7. Selection Criteria for ALF
    • Duplicate serials
    • Monographs published before 1980 that have never circulated (with the exception of: reference works, festschrifts and other edited collections)
  8. Digital Projects
    1. Priorities for collections to be digitized
      Materials that have few holdings in OCLC should receive first priority. Other criteria for priority: IU authors; local (Indiana) interest; and material that circulates often.
  9. Other Resources and Libraries

Sociology Home Page

Revised April 2012

last updated: 9/5/2012