COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY FOR INFORMATION RESOURCES
The portion of the H. Laddie Montague, Jr. Law Library Mission Statement relevant to collection development reads as follows:
The mission of the H. Laddie Montague, Jr. Law Library is to support the instructional and research efforts of the Dickinson Law faculty and students, specifically, and those of the greater Penn State University community, generally, by supplying access to, and support in the use of, all information resources, regardless of format or physical location, needed to support the School's high expectations for teaching excellence and significant scholarly productivity (drafted, November, 2007).
Library collection development is an art not a science. From past experience and knowledge of the interests of the library's users, it is possible to know with some certainty many of the resources they will need, but the needs and interests of the community are constantly changing with new faculty, new course offerings and the development of new subject areas in the field of law. To provide resources to meet the users' needs it is necessary that the selector of materials for the library make informed predictions as to what those needs will be. The collection should be developed so that the library has a broad coverage of the entire field of law and more complete coverage in areas where the curriculum and research interest of the community are intense. Some attention must also be paid to the preservation of resident collections so that they will be available to researchers in the future; however, as locally owned print and microform collection content is increasingly digitized, the Library intends to seize opportunities to deliver information in formats that de-emphasize the cost, space requirements, and delivery limitations of onsite ownership in favor of robust and highly portable digital access to that same information.
The Director of the Law Library has final responsibility for all Law Library activities, including guidance and oversight of all collection development policies and practices. The Law Library’s Acquisitions Department is responsible for day-to-day selection and acquisition activities including: supervision of all standing and blanket orders; service as the Law Library's primary liaison with most publishers and information suppliers; identification, recommendation, and ultimately ordering of new materials deemed to be of interest to School of Law researchers; and coordination with Penn State University Libraries' Acquisitions Department to regularly assess the appropriate level of collection development cooperation and to evaluate opportunities for resource sharing when it serves the mutual interests of the School of Law and the greater University. Additionally, the Department informs the School of Law faculty about newly published books and journals (through the electronic distribution of Hein's Greenslips, the Law Library's new titles web page, and access to the Current Index to Legal Periodicals (CILP) and its customized alert service, SmartCILP). Finally, all members of the Law Library faculty are encouraged to make recommendations, particularly in their areas of subject expertise, and to bring meritorious recommendations from students and other Law Library users to the Director of the Law Library or the Acquisitions Department (DickinsonLawLib@psu.edu) for purchase and licensing consideration.
As a limited federal depository library, the Law Library selects from those documents available using procedures outlined in its Government Documents Selection Policy (see below). Under the general oversight of the Director of the Law Library, the Government Documents manager is the Law Library's primary liaison with the Government Printing Office concerning our participation in the Federal Depository Library Program and is responsible for all selection, collection maintenance and recordkeeping concerning depository items added to the collection.
General Guidelines for Collection Development
While core collections will still be held in print and in various microformats for the foreseeable future, the Law Library recognizes that the quality, content coverage, and site-independent availability of electronic collection resources are increasingly making it possible to supplant print and film resources whose contents are now digitized. As a consequence, the Law Library considers it a primary collection development goal to seek all reasonable opportunities to gain the instant access to core and secondary collections of incredible diversity and depth offered by digital collections while judiciously reducing its print and film holdings and purchases.
As of July, 2015, the collection criteria and selection guidelines listed below are in force and continue to guide most of the Law Library's collection development decisions.
Revised: July, 2015
GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY
Dickinson Law, located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1834. Carlisle is a pre-Revolutionary town of approximately 20,000 people that is home to the U.S. Army War College and Dickinson College. The H. Laddie Montague, Jr. Law Library (formerly known as the Dickinson School of Law's Sheely-Lee Law Library) was designated as a selective federal depository in 1978.
The mission of the Government Documents Section is to provide access to government information and to support the curricular offerings and research needs of the Dickinson Law community. The primary clientele are the students, faculty, and staff of Dickinson Law and the constituents of nearby Congressional Districts.
The collection is maintained in accordance with the requirements of Title 44, Chapter 19 of the United States Code, Instructions to Depository Libraries, Guidelines for the Depository Library Program, and the Federal Depository Library Manual .
Selection of government documents is made by the Government Documents manager. Recommendations from the professional and general library staff, government documents staff, faculty, students, and members of the public are considered by the Law Library when making decisions concerning collection development. The collection supports the curriculum and research interests of the students, faculty, and staff of Dickinson Law and the federal government information needs of nearby Congressional Districts.
Subject Areas and Collection Arrangement
A review of the items selected is conducted once a year in preparation for the Annual Update Cycle. Collection in certain subject areas may be expanded or limited based on changes in academic programs and community needs. The collection includes congressional, executive, and administrative primary legal materials and law-related publications in areas of curricular interest, such as Legislation, Trade, Labor, or Civil Rights.
Moderate to comprehensive collection development includes the following agencies or commissions:
Limited collection development includes the following agencies or commissions:
The Government Documents Collection is arranged in Superintendent of Document (SuDoc) classification number order. Most Government Document microfiche is filed in SuDoc number order. Selected Government Documents are located in other library collections, such as the Treatise Collection and Reference Collection which are arranged by Library of Congress classification number, Periodical Collection arranged alphabetically by title. Government Document titles are included in the on-line catalog which denotes location of Government Documents.
Government Documents are selected in all formats including paper, microfiche, and electronic materials. Selection of format is based on content and purpose of publication. Paper is preferred for its pictorial content or reference purposes. Microfiche is selected for ease in storage or preservation purposes. Electronic materials are selected for ease in searching and retrieving information and for storage purposes. Forms and posters are rarely selected.
Selection Tools, Non-Depository Items, Retrospective Sources
The following resources are consulted for collection development:
Additional bibliographic resources are used when appropriate. Agencies are contacted for documents that are not available through the Federal Library Depository Program. The library maintains a deposit account with GPO for purchase of materials that may not otherwise be available.
The Government Documents staff is a member of the Central Pennsylvania Documents Group. As part of the Pennsylvania State University, the library also has borrowing privileges with various libraries of the Penn State University campuses.
Government Documents materials which circulate are included in the Library's Interlibrary Loan Service.
Weeding and Maintenance
The Government Depository Collection is maintained according to the guidelines established in the INSTRUCTIONS TO DEPOSITORY LIBRARIES and other publications of the Federal Depository Library Program, and guidelines established by the State Library of Pennsylvania Regional Depository.
Since 2008, the Law Library significantly reduced its holdings of print Government Documents in favor of access to the growing number of Government Documents now made available electronically. Most superseded documents are discarded according to the procedures referenced above.
The Library's online catalog includes bibliographic information and location for many Government Documents titles. All library collections which contain government documents are available to all members of the public during public library hours. Professional staff offers reference service and assistance in locating documents not included in the online catalog during all public library hours.
Revised: July, 2015
ARCHIVES POLICY STATEMENT
The Archives of Dickinson Law include material which illuminates much of the Law School 's history. These non-current records, papers and books are preserved because they contain information of administrative, legal, fiscal or research value. In order to perpetuate and augment our archival holdings, a policy must be established for collection of current records from Law School personnel and offices. To this end, the following policies and guidelines are suggested:
Revised: July, 2015