Collection Development - Computer Science

Collections LibrarianIan Graham Interim (x2127)

The collection development policy for computer science guides the development and management of the computer science collection. This policy is for the use of the Science Librarian for Collections and the Science Library's users. The policy will be updated as needed. Faculty and students are encouraged to provide recommendations for library materials.

General purpose of the collection

The computer science collection supports the undergraduate curriculum offered by the Computer Science Department at Wellesley College.  The collection supports student research in specific areas of interest. The collection is used primarily by computer science majors, by students fulfilling course distribution requirements in the sciences and by others throughout the campus who use applications of computer science technology in their disciplines. Materials are purchased to support a wide range of courses covering programming, internet research and design, data structures, algorithm design, networks, parallel computing, computer graphics and computer architecture. The focus of collecting covers both applied and theoretical computing concepts. Several mathematics courses which are required for computer science majors also generate materials to support the computer science curriculum in the areas of combinatorics and graph theory, linear algebra, probability and statistics, and number theory.   The library supports use of the ACM Digital Library and IEEE Computer Society Digital Library through faculty memberships.

In addition to supporting Computer Science majors, the computer science collection also supports the interdepartmental Media Arts and Sciences major.

Description of the collection

Types of Materials: Materials are purchased in all formats. Electronic access is the preferred format for journal literature.  Computer software and manuals are rarely purchased.  Materials created for individual use such as workbooks and problem/answer sets are not purchased for the collection.

Readership Level: Material is collected at the college level, with emphasis on upper undergraduate/early graduate works. Entry level materials are acquired selectively to support courses fulfilling distribution requirements, as are popular materials to encourage reading about the sciences across the disciplines.

Languages Collected: English only.

Geographical Areas Covered (intellectual content or publication source): All areas.

Chronological Periods Covered (intellectual content): There are no restrictions on intellectual content of the collection.

Chronological Period Covered (publication dates): Current material is the focus of almost all purchasing.

Shelving Locations: Books and journals are housed at the Science Library with the exception of most pre-1985 journal literature, which are housed at an off-site facility and are retrievable by request.  Online access to collections is provided through the Library website.

Reference: Reference material for computer science is purchased by the Science Librarian for Research and Instruction and follows the general subject parameters of the computer science policy. Electronic access is the preferred format for reference works.

Related subjects

Computers enter every aspect of teaching and research in every discipline at Wellesley college. Classroom Instruction support including software and manuals is offered to the Computer Science Department by members of the Information Services team.

GIS (Geographic Information Systems) materials for instructional use are purchased by IS from classroom support funds. Most other GIS purchasing is done by the Geosciences selector with occasional support from the Computer Sciences selector.

Material describing computer activity in any discipline is typically purchased by the selector for the specific discipline involved, e.g., a book titled "Computer programs for the practicing chemist" would be purchased by the Chemistry selector. "C++ programming for biological field work" would be purchased by the Biology selector.

Bioinformatics materials are purchased by the Biology selector.

Mathematics materials supporting the computer science curriculum, including probability and statistics, are typically purchased by the Math selector. Additionally, material purchased by the Mathematics selector in areas of combinatorics, graph theory, algebra, and numerical analysis all support computer science majors seeking a mathematics focus in their degree.

Graphics, Art & Media, Computers & Art materials supporting both computer science and art coursework and research are typically purchased by the Art selector. The Art librarian selects works related to the visual arts, including material on photography, printmaking, filmmaking and history of film, video production, and new media.

Neuroscience coursework requiring computer science is purchased for the pertinent science department involved with the topic. Typically the Biology or Chemistry selectors would make these purchases.

Computers & Society material covering the impact of technology on our lives would be purchased by the Social Sciences selector.

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics materials are purchased selectively by the Computer Science selector. Some robotics material is also purchased by the Physics selector.