This policy outlines guidelines used at Hampshire College for building and maintaining the collections of the Library Center that support the cross-disciplinary curriculum of the College as taught in the Schools of Cognitive Science (CS), Critical Social Inquiry (CSI), Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies (HACU), Interdisciplinary Arts (IA), and Natural Science (NS).
2. Responsibility for Collection Development
The director of the library oversees librarian selectors assigned to each school to ensure that collections are appropriately developed and maintained in accordance with this policy. Each school librarian is responsible for identifying curricular trends in that librarian's school. Library budgets support student coursework in Divisions I and II, and provide, to the extent possible, citation access for Division III students and faculty to materials available elsewhere. Requests for purchases by Hampshire students and faculty are always welcome, and are evaluated according to the criteria described herein. The Library Center relies on the other libraries in the Five College consortium for collections of historical depth, special collections of manuscripts and rare books, and access to specialized databases and research material. Librarians work closely with Five College library committees to leverage access and avoid duplication of resources.
3. Structure of the Acquisitions Budget
The acquisitions budget is divided among the schools according to a formula based on the number of faculty, students, and divisional exams in each school, and the comparative cost of materials in the disciplines represented in each school. In addition, there is a "community property" budget that supports databases that have utility across many or most disciplines, such as JSTOR, Project Muse, and Academic Search Premier. Often, the selectors for two or more schools will pool resources to acquire a database or other expensive resource of value to both schools.
In addition, the library has received the gift of a number of small endowments, each of which has a specific subject area for which it may be used. The interest income from these endowments is made available to the school librarians for selection of materials that will be useful for the collection as well as falling within the range of the endowment restrictions.
4. Individual School Priorities
School of Cognitive Science
Disciplines represented: cognitive science, computer science, computer animation, psychology, philosophy of the mind, education and child development, linguistics, and communication.
Demand for online access to the journal article literature by students and faculty is very high in the fields covered by this school. For this reason, a large proportion of the budget is dedicated to large and very expensive databases such as Science Direct, Springerlink, and PsychArticles, with a small amount available for monographic purchases.
School of Critical Social Inquiry
Disciplines represented: history, anthropology, economics, sociology, education, urban studies, political science, law, and psychology. Focuses of interest include gender studies (including reproductive rights), queer studies, race and class, social justice, global migrations and diasporas, Lacan/Freud, and sustainability.
Materials are purchased based on an analysis of course descriptions and syllabi. Textbooks are not routinely purchased except for introductory survey courses, nor is everything relating to a particular discipline acquired. Instead, materials on research methods such as oral history, ethnography and mapping, or materials on particular topics appearing in recurring courses or student projects are ordered. Approximately one quarter of the budget is allocated to student and faculty requests.
School of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies
Disciplines represented: art history, studio arts, American studies, architecture, environmental design, dance, music, photography and video, literature, cultural studies, media studies and journalism, philosophy, religion, and critical theory.
Materials purchased support faculty efforts toward helping students develop analytical, practical, and critical skills and to draw connections between areas of study. Currently, responsibility for selection of HACU resources is split between the arts librarian and the humanities and film librarian. Since material is acquired in support of disciplines taught with different emphases between HACU and IA, the expense of major purchases is often shared between the two budgets.
School for Interdisciplinary Arts
Disciplines represented: all forms of art and art making including painting, sculpture, theatre, children's theatre, creative drama, writing, literature, art and technology, and art and social action. In addition, a number of programs are associated with IA, including American Sign Language, DART (Design, Art and Technology), appropriate technology, and the work of the Lemelson Center.
As in other schools, the selector analyses course descriptions and syllabi each semester. In addition to acquiring materials specifically in support of the curriculum and student projects, the arts librarian is building an artists' books collection as a teaching resource (see Special Collections, below).
School of Natural Science
Disciplines represented: biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, genetics, mathematics, physical anthropology, and sustainable agriculture.
Like the School of Cognitive Science, demand for online access to the journal article literature by students and faculty is very high in the fields covered by this school. For this reason, a large proportion of the budget has been dedicated to large and very expensive databases such as Science Direct and Springerlink, with a smaller amount available for monographic purchases.
5. Collecting Criteria
Materials are acquired primarily in English; however, as grant funding is received for foreign language material (such as the Mellon World Languages grant), selectors purchase foreign language materials funded by the grant at the request of the grant recipients.
In addition to general selection criteria, editorial credibility is important to the selection decision. Priority is given to materials from reputable trade publishers/distributors, university presses, and special or small presses, if relevant to the material type.
Availability in the Five Colleges
Specialized material that is already available from one or more of the Five College libraries is carefully evaluated to ensure that unnecessary duplication is avoided. This does not, however, prevent the material from being acquired if a clear case of its usefulness for the Hampshire community is present.
Formats and Material Types
With the exception of archives and institutional records, the library only acquires and maintains materials in formats for which it has in-house equipment or conditions for use. Types and formats of materials collected include, but are not limited to: books, required textbooks, exhibition catalogs, serials, periodicals, newspapers, CD-ROMs, CDs, cassettes, DVDs, VHS videotapes, 16 mm. films, portfolios, artists' books, software (provided suitable hardware is available) and electronic resources with internet access.
6. Notes on Individual Library Collections
Hampshire College Special Collections include an Artists’ Books collection, along with other fine press, small press volumes and limited first-edition printings. The Artists' Books collection includes a wide variety of formats, styles, and works by a diversity of artists. Preference is given to books by Hampshire-affiliated and New England artists and to specific subject matter relevant to Hampshire curricular offerings.
In addition to Artists' Books, small press, or limited first editions, other items are in Special Collections because of their fragility, relative uniqueness, expensive cost, inscriptions or marginalia, or other reasons. Although these items do not circulate, they are available for individual and classroom use through the school librarians, who encourage their use with proper care and handling.
DVDs, videotapes, and films selected for the collection must meet the curricular support objectives outlined above. Other than donated entertainment films, the film librarian collects experimental films (contemporary or historical, fictional or documentary), documentary films (contemporary or historical), films by alums who are professionals in the field, and historical or contemporary feature films that are related to curricular offerings.
Music and spoken word recordings are acquired as CDs, though the collection includes some cassette recordings. The principle areas of music collected, as related to the curriculum are classical, jazz/blues, and world music.
The slide collection, having been unused for more than two years, was discarded in the summer of 2010. A small selection, based on faculty input and unavailability in image databases, was scanned as digital images. The images, with their metadata, will be made available to faculty and students upon completion of this project.
7. Gift Policy
The Hampshire College library welcomes monetary and in-kind gifts of recent material (not older than five years). Monetary gifts may be directed to a variety of purposes, including purchase of materials for the collection, or endowments for continuing support.
Because of severely limited shelf space, the library must be very selective in adding material to the collection. Gifts in all media will be considered, but unfortunately the library is not able to accept all offered material. The school librarians generally determine the suitability of material based on currency and relevance to the Hampshire curriculum.
As charitable donations, gifts to the library may constitute a tax deduction for the donor. Internal Revenue Service regulations make it the responsibility of the donor to obtain legal advice on tax deductions, to arrange for appraisals for materials of significant value, and to maintain an inventory of materials donated.
8. Deaccessioning of Library Materials
Because of a lack of space for shelving library materials at Hampshire, the collection must be actively reviewed to remove items that are no longer useful, and to make room for new material. Reasons for deacessioning these items include but are not limited to physical condition, outdated information, and the lack of current circulation. In general, it is the school librarians who make these decisions, although sometimes the decision is made during the repair process. Material that is removed is transferred to the Five College Depository if it is the last copy in the valley, according to Five College library policy. For material that is to be removed permanently, the library staff follow standard procedures including offering the books for sale to dealers, having an annual library book sale, and offering it to the representatives of charitable organizations for donation to prison and other underfunded libraries. As a last resort, the books are recycled.
Deaccessioned bound serials and periodicals are transferred to the depository, if a copy is not yet present in that collection. Because of the wide availability of electronic serials and periodicals, there is almost no demand for bound serials/periodicals even as donations to other libraries. When they are withdrawn and not transferred to the depository they are almost always recycled.
Any films, videos, DVDs, and CDs that are withdrawn, usually because of condition, are discarded. If the material is still of interest, an effort is made to acquire the same content in a newer format.
9. College Archives
The Hampshire College archives were established in 1980 by President Adele Simmons, who recognized the archives as the repository for historical records of the College, including confidential records requiring controlled access.
The Hampshire College archives comprise a collection of materials by and about Hampshire College people, programs, and offices. These records are produced in the course of day-to-day operations (for example, correspondence files, minutes of meetings, or College publications) and transferred to the archives when no longer in daily use by the originating office or group. This material forms a documentary record of the history and functioning of the College.
Files of continuing or historical interest to future scholars and researchers (such as correspondence and subject files), files constituting the record of the activity of an office, school, student group, or governance body, and records which are little used (less than once a year) should be considered for transfer to the archives. The archives reserves the right, while processing records for permanent inclusion in the archives, to discard non-essential or duplicative material.
The archives should also be added to the mailing lists for all College publications, newsletters and governance minutes.
The archives maintains a number of manuscript collections, usually acquired through a connection of the donor with the College. Because of severe space limitations, donations of manuscript collections must be carefully evaluated based on their relation to the College's mission and usefulness to the College community. Support for their processing and maintenance may be required as a condition of acceptance.
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