University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee|
Collection Policy Manual, rev. ed
|Academic Programs Supported|
The Reference Collection of the libraries' Research and Instructional Support Department (RIS) supports, to different depths, all degree programs and fields of instruction and research pursued at UWM by students, faculty, and staff. The Reference Collection consists of three parts: Reference works, the U.S. Government Information Collection (separately profiled), and the Data Base Services Collection (focused on resources for online searching). Reference acquires print and non-networked CD-ROM resources, and also provides a portal to electronic resources, some of them free, which are accessible through either the "Reference Menu" or Web bookmarks on Reference Room workstations. The Reference Collection also includes a few microfiche sets including the National Union Catalog and the Wisconsin Union List of Serials (WULS).
Collection levels, from basic to research, vary according to the levels of UWM's academic programs. For instance, the Reference Collection includes legal materials that facilitate research in legal aspects of education, history, and communications, but collecting is not done at the level that would be required for a law school. Because disciplines such as geography, music, and education have specialized libraries, Reference collects very selectively in these areas. New curricular areas such as the Gay and Lesbian Studies Program and the Latino Studies Certificate, as well as growing areas of research and interest such as Women's Studies and Ethnic and Minority Studies, require in-depth collection development attention.
High demand for biographical material, which cuts across disciplines and academic status, is translated into active and in-depth collection development. Regularly updated resources include many print works and such electronic works as Biography and Genealogy Master Index and Contemporary Authors.
Current and retrospective statistics are selected, as comprehensively as availability and funds permit, on all aspects of U.S. and international life and commerce, representing important research level primary source material for faculty, students, and staff in the social sciences, physical and biological sciences, business, nursing, and education. Particularly emphasized are print and electronic works which measure and record the significant numbers for demographic data, corporate activity and profit, incidence of diseases, student enrollments, and international measures of material and cultural attainment. Especially notable are government sources of statistics including census reports and agency compilations.
Handbooks and manuals, ranging from data for chemistry and physics to r�sum� preparation guides and electronic style manuals for citing electronic resources, provide needed information to support teaching and research and are actively collected.
Relevant to all levels of academic research, but especially needed for undergraduate research, encyclopedias and dictionaries ranging from the general to those with specialized subject focus, from one volume works to sets of more than eighty volumes, are a collection priority. Current foreign language dictionaries, especially bilingual works, are collected for major languages. Polyglot and bilingual technical dictionaries are collected as available.
The continuously updated collection includes print, and an increasing number of electronic indexes which can be searched by researchers themselves or, by searching through the Data Base Services office for a fee. Efforts are being made to provide electronic databases offering the full text of many or all of the articles indexed, such as Academic Search or ABI Inform. The high cost of electronic subscriptions has usually dictated the cancellation of the print versions of an index when the Libraries subscribe to an electronic version of the same index. Useful online indexes such as the Avery Index for architecture, and the Handbook of Latin American Studies, are selected by the reference staff, bookmarked from the Web, and are available from the Reference workstations' menu.
A wide range of directories is kept current, to assist researchers in finding information about professional, corporate, consulting, and educational or government organizations and associations.
Many heavily used bibliographic tools are kept current, including the National Union Catalog, the British Library General Catalogue of Printed Books, and the Union List of Serials, as well as online library catalogs for UWM and other institutions around the world. This type of resource is vital to the support and documentation of research and will continue to be an important area of collection development.
Actively collected for the general reference collection are items ranging from the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which have received full cataloging and an LC Classification call number, and finding guides, to government documents in electronic formats, including networked and non-networked CD-ROMs, subscription Web sites, free, and bookmarked Web sites which represent a growing proportion of the Libraries' federal documents holdings/access. Wisconsin state documents are received and kept by the Libraries and are catalogued and given LC call numbers. Government publications will remain a vital and growing part of the Libraries' resources for the foreseeable future. See also Government Information
For access to the full-text of articles or journals, online collections such as Academic Search or ABI Inform are selected. Some individual electronic journals are selected for access, through the Libraries' Web site.
Most material is in English. Notable exceptions include foreign language dictionaries and encyclopedias, and some biographical dictionaries.
Related Subject Collections|
Related Library Units|