Matching Collections to Academic Departments

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Matching Collections to Academic Departments

Is it true that the sum of the Library's support for Gender Studies is reflected in the sum of its "Gender Studies" budget? But what if both Gender Studies and Political Science faculty regularly contribute to the journal Gender and Development -- and it is in the call number range for and is paid from a budget for Economics?

Interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity, electronic resources, and outdated but in-use classification systems all make collection assessment a tremendously more complex and difficult task. There is a great need to cast a wider net to measure Library support for contemporary fields of study. The act of mapping collections to academic departments is the best first step to making this endeavor possible.

Check out: The tips in How to Map Collections to Academic Depts and the example of the Map of NU Collections to Academic Depts.

When library resources are matched to academic departments, you can:

  1. Analyze collections in a consistent and systematic manner.
  2. Calculate the amount of support the library provides to academic units—not in the old terms of funds spent, but in new terms of resources purchased.
  3. Align resources to the needs of the community.
  4. Discover what is not being systematically collected.
  5. Fully account for support of interdisciplinary subjects. Allow for resource count overlap, with the same call number or other coded characteristics appearing under more than one subject, which guarantees that interdisciplinary subjects and resources are completely represented.
  6. Assist selectors by providing the widest range possible of call numbers to use to search vendor databases such as GOBI and OttoEditions.
  7. Quickly advance the process of familiarizing selectors, who have new subject responsibilities, with a field of study.
  8. Create services based on call numbers such as Browse Online or On Foot.
  9. Enhance outreach and resource usage by offering canned searches such as those based on subject-headings identified via call numbers, e.g., Cyber Terrorism .