Collection Development - Sociology

Collections Librarian : Graham Henderson (x3514)

The collection development policy for Sociology guides the development and management of the Sociology collection. This policy is for use by the Wellesley College community and the Sociology collections librarian. Faculty and students are encouraged to provide recommendations for library materials.

General purpose of the collection

Sociology materials in the Wellesley College Library support the Sociology department curriculum. In addition, the collection supports the programs and disciplines in which a sociological perspective is employed. The materials provide for undergraduate study, faculty instruction, and basic faculty research.

The Sociology collection contains materials in both social theory and methods, which form the core curriculum for the Sociology major. In addition, the collection supports the curriculum and teaching interests of the Sociology faculty, which include the following: medical sociology, law and legal institutions, media studies, Latin American studies, aging, Eastern European societies, human rights, professions and organizations, welfare and poverty, stratification, racial and ethnic identities and communities, migration and immigration, transnational and global exchanges, religious organizations, and the study of power and conflict.

Formats in the Sociology collection include books, periodicals, electronic resources (including data and online statistical databases), and video recordings. The majority of these circulate to students, faculty, and staff.

Description of the collection

1. Readership level: The Sociology collection consists primarily of works written for the basic through advanced undergraduate level and for basic faculty research. Graduate- and research-level publications are collected selectively.

2. Languages collected or excluded: The primary language of the collection is English. On rare occasions, works in foreign languages may be purchased after consultation with faculty, although this is not standard collecting practice.

3. Geographical areas covered by the collections in terms of intellectual content, publication sources, or both, and specific areas excluded, as appropriate: Acquired materials are primarily published in and purchased from the United States, the United Kingdom, and, to a lesser extent, Europe. Occasionally works in English are purchased from other parts of the world as well. Intellectual content tends to focus on societies and social groups of the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Other geographic areas are represented in a more selective manner.

4. Chronological periods collected in terms of publication dates, and specific periods excluded, as appropriate: The collection emphasizes current material, with the primary purpose of supporting coursework, student research, and basic faculty research. Older imprints are acquired selectively, usually as replacements for classic works, or at the specific request of a student or faculty member.

5. Chronological periods covered by the collection in terms of intellectual content, movement, or schools: All chronological periods are included.

Reference: Reference material for Sociology is purchased by the Sociology collections librarian for Research and Instruction and follows the general subject parameters of the Sociology collections policy. The scope includes, but is not limited to, the following types of material: biographies, dictionaries/thesauri/nomenclature aids, encyclopedias, Formats in the Economics collection include books, periodicals, electronic resources (including data and online statistical databases), and occasional electronic search aids and directories which support curricular or related professional programs.

General subject boundaries and library locations

Sociology materials are housed in Clapp Library.

1. Special Subject Emphases: Traditionally, the Sociology collection has focused on the topics of family, marriage, and sexual life; crime; social deviance; public welfare; and sociological theory, with a geographic emphasis on the United States and Europe.

2. Current Collecting Priorities: In addition to the topics listed above, mass media and popular culture, Latin American studies, human rights, race, class, and gender stratification, migration and immigration, transnational and global exchanges, and religious organizations. The geographic coverage has expanded to place more of a priority on Latin America and Eastern Europe.

3. Subjects Collected Selectively: Social history, criminology, drug and alcohol abuse, and urban sociology are collected selectively.

Related subjects and interdisciplinary relationships

Anthropology: The Anthropology collections librarian selects materials pertaining to social anthropology.

Africana Studies: The Sociology collections librarian may select a sociological study focused on an African or Caribbean group or institution.

Education: The Education collections librarian selects materials pertaining to effective teaching methods among different subgroups.

Latin American Studies: The Sociology collections librarian collaborates with the Latin American Studies collections librarian to select materials on Latin American cultures and societies and of the Latino experience in the United States.

Political Science: The Sociology collections librarian collaborates with the Political Science collections librarian to select materials on human rights and social and political movements.

Psychology: The Psychology collections librarian selects materials pertaining to social psychology.

Women's Studies: The Women's Studies collections librarian collaborates with the Sociology collections librarian to select materials relating to women, sexual life, sex roles, and marriage. The Sociology collections librarian selects materials relating to the family.

Types of materials

Collected: Books, periodicals, and reference works, including encyclopedias, biographical and subject-specific dictionaries, handbooks, and almanacs.

Collected Selectively: Conference proceedings, multi-media publications, spoken-word recordings, electronic resources, dissertations, foreign-language monographs, research-level monographs, foreign-language periodicals, and videos and DVDs (Region 1 DVD and NTSC VHS are the preferred formats for video materials. Region 2/PAL videorecordings are acquired when this is the only format available).

Not Collected: Textbooks, foreign-language dissertations, single or discrete issues of periodicals, vanity press publications, non-journal microforms, and 16mm or 35mm films.