Biological Sciences Collection Development Procedures

I. Academic Programs Served

A. The primary user of this collection is the Department of Biological Sciences with emphases in animal organismal biology, cellular and molecular biology, ecology and evolution, microbiology, plant molecular biology, plant organismal biology, and physiology and development. Other discipline areas making wide use of this collection include chemistry, child development, clinical laboratory sciences, communicative disorders, community health, environmental studies, geography, geology, gerontology, health administration, health education, kinesiology, nursing, nutrition and dietetics, physical therapy, physics, psychology, and sports medicine. The biological science area also offers courses which will fulfill the University’s general education requirements in the sciences (100 and 200 level), selected honors courses, and courses for the University’s pre-professional programs: dentistry, medicine, optometry, osteopathy, pharmacy, podiatry, and veterinary medicine.

B. Degrees currently offered are the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree with a major in Biological Sciences, a Master of Science degree with a major in Biological Sciences (specialization in Bioinformatics or Human Anatomical Sciences), and a Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences (areas of study: Cellular and Molecular Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Microbiology,Plant Sciences, Radiation Biology and Genetics). In addition, the Department offers a baccalaureate minor in Biological Sciences, plus courses toward fulfilling teacher certification requirements in biology and courses for an M.S. or Ph.D. concentration in the Center for Biochemical and Biophysical Studies.

II. Clientele Served

A. The undergraduate and graduate students and the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences are the primary users of library resources in Biological Sciences. Undergraduate honors students majoring in biology, graduate students in biology, and faculty in that department are expected to use the collection most intensively. The faculties of the Departments of Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Physics, Psychology, and the faculties of the departments in the College of Health and Human Sciences are additional clientele. Graduate and undergraduate students in the previously mentioned degree programs and departments also constitute a portion of the clientele served. General public interest focuses on broad, introductory works contained in the collection, including gardening, conservation, plant and animal identification guides, works of topical interest (e.g. cloning, genetic engineering, bio-ethics, etc.), as well as works in the general health area.

B. Interdisciplinary interest, e.g., in biochemistry, biophysics, biopsychology, and environmental studies, largely resides in related sciences (chemistry, geology, geography, and physics) and in the health professions.

III. General Policy Considerations for This Subject Area

A. Languages

English is the primary language of the collection. Materials written in French, German, and Spanish, as well as other languages, are obtained on a highly selective basis. Translations into English are preferred over the original if they are available.

B. Chronological Guidelines

Emphasis is on current scholarship except with respect to purely descriptive works of flora and fauna where chronological guidelines are not applicable. Materials relating to the history of biology, medicine, agriculture, and pharmacy will be purchased on a selective basis and will include ancient times to the present.

C. Geographical limitations or priorities

No region is excluded, but there is a primary emphasis on North America, and secondary emphasis on Central and South America, including the adjacent oceans.

D. Formats of material collected

Print material collected will consist primarily of monographic and serial publications: books, journals, monographic serials, reference works, publications of conferences and symposia, treatises, and academy and society publications. Upper and lower division textbooks will be acquired on a selective basis. Theses, dissertations, and popular works will be acquired on a selective basis. Acquisitions of microform materials not available in print will also be made on a selective basis. Electronic formats will be provided when the following conditions are met and an electronic format is deemed appropriate: 1) when a print edition is not available, 2) when the advantages of an electronic format over a print format justify the expense, 3) when a substantial cost savings can be gained by changing from print to electronic with no significant loss to serving research and curricular needs, and 4) when electronic format can be offered along with print format at no or at affordable added cost. It must always be the case that the electronic format material will be available to the University community with the least possible restrictions, including printing for individual use, remote access, and interlibrary loan activities whenever possible.

E. Publication dates of material collected

Emphasis will be on materials published within the last ten years. With respect to retrospective materials, no preference will be given to original printings over reprints and microforms.

F. Preservation

Preservation activities begin with protecting the collection from exposure to conditions, beyond usual wear, which would cause harm. When damage has occurred, efforts will be made to preserve the intellectual content or conserve the actual item according to the levels indicated on the accompanying chart.

Collecting Levels

  • Subject: General Biology & Natural History
    LC Class: QH
    Title Count*: 26,708
    Collection Goal: 3c
    Language Coverage: P 
    Preservation: 3
  • Subject: Botany 
    LC Class: QK 
    Title Count*: 3,276
    Collection Goal: 4 
    Language Coverage: P
    Preservation: 3
  • Subject: Zoology 
    LC Class: QL
    Title Count*: 8,076
    Collection Goal: 4 
    Language Coverage: P 
    Preservation: 3
  • Subject: Human Anatomy
    LC Class: QM
    Title Count*: 744
    Collection Goal: 4 
    Language Coverage: P
    Preservation: 3
  • Subject: Physiology 
    LC Class: QP 
    Title Count*: 5,466
    Collection Goal: 4 
    Language Coverage: P 
    Preservation: 3
  • Subject: Microbiology
    LC Class: QR 
    Title Count*: 1,364
    Collection Goal: 4
    Language Coverage: P 
    Preservation: 3
  • Subject: Agriculture 
    LC Class: S-SK 
    Title Count*: 14,041
    Collection Goal: 3a 
    Language Coverage: P 
    Preservation: 3
  • Subject: Except Plant Pathology
    LC Class: SB 621-795
    Title Count*: [222]
    Collection Goal: 3c 
    Language Coverage: P 
    Preservation: 3

* Title Count numbers are based on an analysis of ACAS/OCLC and Voyager collection data performed during the spring of 2004 and added October 2004.

V. Other Resources

A. At NIU 
Government Publications

B. Off campus 
UIC College of Medicine at Rockford Library 
Center for Research Libraries 
John Crerar Library 
University of Illinois Medical Center 
Morton Arboretum 
Other Illinois University Libraries

Contact Us

Dean Fred Barnhart

Phone: (815) 753-1995

Founders Memorial Library
Northern Illinois University
217 Normal Rd
DeKalb, IL 60115-2828

Business Hours