Sociology Collection Development Policy


I. Academic Programs Served

A. The academic programs which draw most heavily on the holdings of the University Libraries in the field of general sociology and its component specializations of social psychology, sociology of health and aging, criminology and criminal justice and applied sociology are those of the Departments of Sociology, Political Science, Allied Health, Nursing, Women’s Studies, Black Studies and the College of Law.

B. Degree programs involved are the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Sciences at the undergraduate level and the Master of Arts in Sociology at the graduate level, and the undergraduate and graduate degrees of the academic departments listed in section A. The Certificate of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies and the minor in Women’s Studies also utilize the literature of this field.

II. Clientele

The principal clientele affected by the quality of University Library holdings in sociology are the undergraduate and graduate students in the Departments of Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science and the family studies component of the Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences curriculum, and participants in the interdisciplinary programs of study in African American Studies, Latino/Latin American Studies, South East Asian studies and the Certificate in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender studies.

III. General Policy Considerations

A. The primary language of collection shall be English, as most major theoretical collections in sociology have either been translated into English or are already held as sets of complete works in the original languages. Works in other languages will be considered on an individual basis in view of their relationship to component areas of research within sociology.

B. Works in methodology and research techniques should be of the most current nature. For all specializations, emphasis will be placed on works published after 1985, with older materials added on an individual basis.

C. While an emphasis will be placed on sociological works published in Europe and North America, a global perspective will inform all purchasing, seeking to create adequate coverage of the state of world sociological research.

D. Monographs, periodicals and research collections in both paper and electronic formats will be the preferred categories of acquisition. Data sets will not be acquired unless completely available via a stable Internet connection and an acceptable licensing agreement, as the University Libraries server does not possess sufficient space to house them. The scholarly handbooks in the subdisciplines of sociology will be kept current.

IV. Collecting Levels

For the discipline of sociology, general works on the field will be acquired at the basic study level (3a), as this component of the collection can be adequately handled by the purchase of updated editions of standard titles or newly issued survey volumes; this will allow for use by both the general reader and students wishing to augment the coverage provided by their assigned texts, the latter of which will not be acquired by the University Libraries. For the core areas of the curriculum, crime and criminal justice, acquisition will done at the advanced study and/or research levels (3c/4) , depending on the composition of the individual literatures of the subdisciplines, the volume of publishing (in both paper and electronic formats) and the shifting research priorities of the faculty, graduate and upper-level undergraduate students of the Department of Sociology and related fields. Emergent areas of study within sociology will be developed to the degree they become integrated into the overall departmental curriculum and the discipline as a whole. Internet access to website resources in sociology and its sub-disciplines will be added to the holdings of the University Libraries subject webpage as available and may be removed if the site is not maintained or ceases to exist. Electronic data sets will not be acquired, as the University Libraries server is not adequate to house or maintain such products; however, information on said data sets if available on campus will be provided to the public on the University Libraries web page for Sociology. Databases in any of the sub-disciplines of sociology (whether commercially or privately produced) may be added to the holdings of the University Libraries by subscription after review, provided the access formats for said data are compatible with existing hardware/software configurations and any licensing agreements do not violate established legal limitations of the University Libraries.

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Dean Fred Barnhart

Phone: (815) 753-1995

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

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