1. Goals and Purpose of the Collection Development Policy
2. Language, Geographic and Chronological Coverage
3. Formats and Types
4. Selection Criteria
5. Interdisciplinary and Cooperative Relationships
6. Collecting Levels
Definitions of Collecting Levels
Collection Levels by Subject
The Engineering Collection of the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library at the University of Michigan has grown, since its establishment in 1905, into one of the largest and most comprehensive engineering collections in the country. It serves primarily the instructional and research needs of faculty, students and staff of the College of Engineering, which comprises eleven academic departments:
- Aerospace Engineering
- Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences
- Biomedical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
- Industrial and Operations Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
- Materials Science and Engineering
- Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
- Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences
The collection also supports the needs of the University community at large, neighboring industries, alumni, and the general public.
The Engineering collection provides access to a wide spectrum of materials in applied sciences, engineering and technology, and maintains extensive holdings of major engineering society publications, industry standards, technical reports, and patent and trademark resources. The collection also serves as a repository of historical records for technological development in traditional engineering disciplines. Over the past few years, the library has acquired access to many electronic journals and expanded electronic services for information delivery within the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library as well as centrally through the University Library system.
It is the goal of the engineering collection development and management to provide the highest quality collection for our users, focusing on the students and the faculty and research staff in the College of Engineering. Selectors are challenged to meet this goal by timely selection of resources in rapidly evolving areas of applied sciences, engineering, and technology. Selectors with expertise in assigned subject areas work closely with faculty members so that the collection can serve as effectively as possible the entire user community.
The collection is composed primarily of publications in the English language with a limited number of non-English materials. These non-English publications are received mostly on gift and exchange agreement.
The collection is international in scope but concentrates mostly on materials published in the U.S. and Western Europe. Included also are a limited selection of publications originating in other parts of the world, where significant research is conducted in engineering and applied sciences.
Within the scope of the collection guidelines, the primary selection emphasis is on current publications except in the areas of history of technology. Retrospective purchases are selectively made either to strengthen weak areas of the collection or to support new academic programs as established in the College of the Engineering. Retrospective acquisitions are also made selectively when publication formats change (e.g., paper to digital) and where older materials are as much valued as current materials in major areas of research in the College.
The following publication formats and types are collected:
- Print resources – monographs, serials, conference proceedings, government documents, society publications, standards, technical reports, maps, newspapers
- Digital resources – floppy diskettes, optical discs, images, numeric data, multimedia
- Audio-visual material – video tapes
- Electronic access to serial and select monograph publications
The following publications are generally excluded:
- Pamphlets, ephemeral material
- Juvenile, high school, popular works intended for the general public
- Material requiring obsolete or unsupported equipment, e.g., 3/4 inch tapes
- Material requiring controlled environment for preservation, e.g., archival material
- Materials exclusively collected by other library units, e.g., newspapers, rare books, official computer manuals collected by CAEN, legal materials outside the scope of our subject interest
- Lower-level undergraduate textbooks except for classic textbooks or when requested by faculty for course reserves
- Newsletters except for those that offer substantial technical updates or career information
- Reprints of journal articles
- Theses and dissertations from other institutions
The following criteria are considered in the selection process:
- Need for research and teaching
- Language of the publication
- Availability of bibliographic access through indexing sources
- Quality of publication
- Reputation of authorship
- Price of the publication
Special considerations may be given in the following cases:
- Multiple copies within the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library collection are to be avoided except when they are necessary due to high demand or requested for course reserves.
- Duplication between library units is justified when both units indicate high demand for the material.
- Replacements for lost items should be made if they are identified as important resources for the primary users.
Interdisciplinary Relationship within the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library
Engineering research and practices are in general multidisciplinary, often requiring considerable overlap among a number of disciplines. For example, fluid mechanics plays an important role in several engineering fields. Thus, some of the subject boundaries cannot be clearly marked between two subfields within the engineering discipline.
Interdisciplinary relationships also exist across many areas of engineering, architecture, and urban planning. There is, for example, considerable overlap and interactions among structural engineering, transportation systems, urban planning, and environmental technology. Computer technology is utilized in virtually every discipline, as illustrated, in particular by, computer graphics, digital arts, industrial design, computer-aided architectural design, and computer simulation, and urban and regional designs.
In recognition of this interdisciplinary nature of many different subject areas within the scope of the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library collections, selectors are encouraged to coordinate selection activities so that duplications are minimized and the overall quality of the collection is enhanced. This characteristic of selecting engineering materials is also reflected in the subject areas listed in Section 7.
Cooperative Relationships within the University Library
Due to the multidisciplinary nature of engineering disciplines, selectors at various libraries on campus routinely engage in cooperative consultations to select and locate materials in a number of overlapping areas. With faculty input solicited, selectors usually find the proper location for the publication in question. When high demand is identified for the material at two libraries, duplication may be justifiable because of the physical separation of the libraries. In the monograph areas, duplication is usually not problematic as long as the budget can support. For serial publications, however, careful scrutiny should be made among librarians with faculty input. In the future, serials duplication will be naturally minimized by acquiring campus-wide electronic access to high demand materials.
There exists significant inter-dependency between the Engineering and Science Library collections in many areas of interest to the engineering community. To a lesser extent, there is also inter-relationship between the Engineering collection and those at the Taubman Medical Library, Public Health Library, Dentistry Library, Graduate Library, and Kresge Business Administration Library.
Cooperative Relationships outside the University Library
No special agreement has been established for cooperative resource sharing between the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library and libraries outside the University. The Engineering collection offers rich resources in engineering and technology to researchers throughout the country and the world through a number of consortial and cooperative agreements with other research libraries. They include the Research Libraries Group (RLG), Committee on Institutional cooperation (CIC), and Michigan Research Libraries Triangle (MRLT). The Engineering collection is also made available to Michigan public libraries through the MLink program.
The Engineering collection at the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library supports the entire academic programs of the College of Engineering. As discussed in Sections 5 and 6, there exist considerable interrelationships among various engineering disciplines and inter-dependency between the Engineering Collection and those at several other libraries on campus.
In the list provided in the following, subjects are arranged alphabetically by major subject categories with subheadings. Placement of some subject headings, e.g., robotics, however, may be considered somewhat arbitrary due to this interdisciplinary nature of the field. Included also in the list are the RLG Collection Level and related collections on campus.
C= Comprehensive Level
A collection in which the Library endeavors, so far as is reasonably possible, to include all significant works of recorded knowledge (i.e., publications, manuscripts, other forms), in all applicable languages, for a necessarily defined and limited field. The level of collecting intensity is that which maintains a "special collection"; the aim, if not the achievement, being exhaustive coverage of the field to serve as a national and international resource to scholars.
R = Research Level
A collection which includes the major source materials in applicable languages required for dissertations and independent research, including materials containing research reporting new findings, scientific experimental results, and other information useful to researchers. It also includes all important reference works and wide selection of specialized monographs, as well as a very extensive collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting services in the field.
I = Instructional Support Level
A collection which is adequate to support undergraduate or graduate course work, or sustained independent study. Selection is intended to provide resources adequate to support campus instruction but with less depth than might be required to support in-depth research. An instructional support collection includes a wide range of basic monographs, complete collections of the works of more important writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject including access to information resources via electronic networks.
B = Basic Level
A highly selective collection which serves to introduce and define the subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere. It includes major dictionaries and encyclopedias, selected editions of important works, mainstream English language publications, historical surveys, important bibliographies, and major periodicals in the field.
M = Minimal Level
A subject areas which is out of scope for the library's collections, and in which few selections are made beyond very basic reference tools.
DL - Dentistry Library
GL - Graduate Library
PH - Public Health Library
SL - Science Library
TM - Taubman Medical Library