The definitions of collecting levels used by the Mount library are derived from the Revised Conspectus Collection Depth Indicator Definitions (WLN / Association of Research Libraries, 1997) and the still unrevised subdivisions a and b for Level 3 from the Guide for Written Collection Policy Statements (ALA, 1989).
At present, we do not subdivide levels 1 and 2 into a and b categories, nor do we collect at Levels 4 and 5.
The phrase “defined access” as used in the definitions refers to menu options on the library or institution’s home page, etc. which link the user to owned or remotely accessed electronic resources selected by the library with the needs of its patrons in mind. The level of defined access changes according to the level of the collection.
1. Minimal Information Level
Collections that support minimal inquiries about this subject and include:
A very limited number of general materials, including monographs and reference works.
Periodicals directly dealing with this topic and in-depth electronic information resources are not collected.
2. Basic Information Level
Collections that serve to introduce and define a subject, to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere, and to support the needs of general library users through the first two years of college instruction include:
A limited collection of monographs and reference works.
A limited collection of representative general periodicals.
Defined access to a limited collection of owned or remotely-accessed electronic bibliographic tools, texts, data sets, journals etc.
3. Study or Instructional Level Support
Collections that provide information about a subject in a systematic way, but at a level of less than research intensity, and support the needs of general library users through college and beginning graduate instruction include:
An extensive collection of general monographs and reference works and selected specialized monographs and reference works.
Limited collections of appropriate non-English language materials – e.g. non-English language learning materials for English speakers or non-English language materials about a topic such as works on bilingual education written in French.
Extensive collections of the works of well-known authors and selections from the works of lesser-known authors.
Defined access to an extensive collection of owned or remotely-accessed electronic resources, including bibliographic tools, texts, data sets, journals, etc.
3a. Study or Instructional Support Level
This subdivision of a level 3 collection provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the basic or primary topics of a subject area. The collection includes a broad range of basic works in appropriate formats, classic retrospective materials , all key journals on primary topics, selected journals and seminal works on secondary topics, access to appropriate electronic data files, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject.
This subdivision of level 3 supports undergraduate courses, including advanced undergraduate courses.
3b. Study or Instructional Support Level
The advanced subdivision of level 3 provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the primary and secondary topics of a subject area. The collection includes a significant number of seminal works and journals on the primary and secondary topics in the field; a significant number of retrospective materials; a substantial collection of works by secondary figures; works that provide more in-depth discussions of research, techniques, and evaluation; access to appropriate electronic data files; and reference tools and fundamental bibliographic apparatus pertaining to the subject.
This level supports all courses of undergraduate study and master’s degree programs.
A collection that contains the major published source materials required for doctoral study and independent research.
A collection in a specifically defined field of knowledge that strives to be exhaustive as far as is reasonably possible, in all applicable languages