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Agriculture, food & environmental sciences collection policy

General Collection Guidelines

Languages: English is the primary language of the collection, but French materials, particularly from Quebec, are also acquired.

Chronological Coverage: The emphasis is on current information. The library includes a strong historical collection in agriculturally related fields from the late nineteenth century onwards, particularly in entomology.

Geographical Coverage: While Quebec and northeastern North America are of primary importance, coverage includes all of North America, and to a lesser extent Great Britain, France and many developing countries. Materials are collected to support faculty research in India, Panama, areas of Africa, as well as water resource management issues in the Middle East and Africa.

Date of Publication: The greatest emphasis is on current material. Titles more than 5 years old are rarely purchased.

Types of Material:  Primarily electronic books and electronic journal subscriptions. Other specific types of material are itemized below.

Annual Reports: Very few are ordered. Those that come unsolicited are retained if they contain relevant information.

Atlases: Atlases may be ordered if they have a special relevance to agricultural or environmental subjects. A small general atlas collection is maintained.

Audiovisuals: The Library has a small collection of relevant videos.

Bibliographies: Bibliographies are ordered at the discretion of the Liaison Librarians.

Government Documents: The library is a select depository for Canadian federal government documents and for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Laboratory Manuals: Lab. manuals are usually not acquired.

Loose Leaf Publications: Loose leaf publications are avoided as much as possible as it is difficult to keep them complete and intact.

Microforms: Microfilm and microfiche are avoided.

Newsletters: Newsletters are not solicited. Some that come free are kept for one year.

Reprints: Reprints are not acquired.

Technical Reports: Technical reports are generally not acquired.

Theses: All McGill theses are available from eScholarship@McGill, McGill Library's institutional repository. Pre-2009 Macdonald Campus theses are kept on deposit in library storage. 

Weeding: A great deal of weeding has taken place in the last 15 years as the objectives of the Macdonald Campus Library have gradually changed, and lack of space has been a chronic problem. Although the volume of withdrawals and transfers has now been reduced, the work is not yet finished. Additional weeding will include  outdated materials available in other McGill libraries. In addition to this, materials receiving little current use may be relocated to the Level 1 storage area to create space for new materials in the main stacks.

Co-ordination and Co-operation

Interest in many of the subjects previously listed is shared with other McGill libraries, particularly the Life Sciences Library. Consultation occurs on many fronts, but in the final analysis, if an item is needed at Macdonald and is not available at another library, it is ordered for Macdonald. Items may be duplicated with other libraries when heavy demand is anticipated, but in most cases, items of mutual interest are shared between campuses.

Priorities for Further Development

Journal usage should be monitored continuously to ensure that only essential subscriptions are maintained.

Older publications available in other McGill libraries and no longer used here should be weeded from the collection to create needed space. Opportunities to add space should be pursued when possible.

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