Women's Studies Collection Development

I. Academic Programs Served

A. The interdisciplinary nature of the program in Women’s Studies draws upon a wide range of academic fields and a large portion of the humanities, science and social sciences holdings of the University Library collections. Undergraduate and graduate students and faculty from the Departments of Anthropology, Biology, Allied Health, Chemistry, English, Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences, Foreign Language and Literatures, History, Mathematics, Nursing, Psychology, Political Science, Sociology, the Colleges of Education, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and the School of Business utilize library materials in paper, microform and electronic formats. It should also be noted that a significant focus within Women’s Studies involves the use of the monograph and serial collections of the Law Library, although the development of the latter collection is not covered by the present policy document.

B. Degree programs affected by the quality of the Women’s Studies’ holdings are chiefly the Bachelors of Arts and Sciences as applicable to individual curricula., the Master’s in Business Administration and Master of Arts and Master of Sciences degrees in the aforementioned academic departments. The new interdisciplinary Certificate in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies also draws upon the contents of this section of the University Libraries collections

II. Clientele Served

Given the widely interdisciplinary nature of the Women’s Studies minor, the potential client population for this section of the University Libraries collections may be said to be the majority of the undergraduate and graduate students enrolled within member departments of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts. An increased focus on inclusion of the hard sciences within the Women’s Studies’ program is currently underway.

III. General Collection Development Considerations

A. The preferred languages of collection for materials of all formats in Women’s Studies shall be English , with primary sources in other languages to be acquired according to availability and curriculum needs.

B. Chronological emphasis will be placed on materials which are post- 1970 in date, with selected earlier imprints to be acquired as relevant to a particular Women’s Studies component course.

C. A global focus will be maintained whenever possible, subject to material availability.

D. Monographs shall be preferred for purchase, with research collections. In either paper or electronic format considered as available, the latter subject to the established procedures of licensure review of the University Libraries.

IV. Collecting Levels

The collecting levels of the various disciplines contributing to the literature of Women’s Studies are subject to the jurisdiction of collection development policies for individual fields.

V. Other Resources

The program in Women’s Studies draws on other university resources which significantly augment the holdings of the University Libraries main physical collection. They include the Museum of Anthropology (for cross-cultural treatment of women), the Regional History Center (for historical research involving women in Illinois), the Slide Library of the School of Visual and Performing Arts (covering women’s art works and performances), The Music Library, and the Government Publications collection (for public documents at the federal and Illinois state level relating to women and women’s issues). Access to major online databases such as Contemporary Women’s Issues and full-text web sites such as Women in America, 1820-1842 and African American Women Writers of the 19th Century further expands the pool of available research materials.

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Dean Fred Barnhart

Phone: (815) 753-1094
Email: lib-admin@niu.edu

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