Quick Links

Library and information studies collection policy

Liaison librarian

  • eamon [dot] duffy [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email) 514-398-4697

2003 revision

History of the Collection

The collection dates back to 1904 when, in consultation with Melvil Dewey, the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies began as a summer school and as Canada's first educational programme in librarianship. With the financial assistance of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the School became the country's first sessional programme in 1927, and the first graduate programme in 1930, at which time the collection coalesced and a separate library was created. The library collection was amalgamated into the Humanities and Social Sciences Library (McLennan-Redpath) during the academic year 1994-95.

Current Collection Development

The collection focuses upon both the interdisciplinary concerns of library and information studies and its core of academic and professional activities: the selection, acquisition, organization, dissemination and retrieval of information. The evolving teaching and research needs of the School of Information Studies are the primary determinants of collection development.

Academic Programmes and Liaison

The Graduate School of Library and Information Studies offers courses at the graduate level. The focus of the School's programmes is determined by both academic concerns and current professional practise.

Collection development is the responsibility of the Library and Information Studies Bibliographer. Liaison with faculty is maintained through a faculty co-ordinator as well as with other faculty members when required. Regular contact with other bibliographers is maintained through the sharing of relevant review material.

McGill Resources

The Humanities and Social Sciences Library is the major location for the University's collection in Library and Information Studies.

The Rare Books and Special Collections of McGill University Libraries contains holdings of particular interest to the programme, in particular its Colgate Printing Collection and its bibliographical and book trade catalogues and collections. Rare Books holdings of Children's Literature have been substantially enriched by the amalgamation of the rare children's books from the collection of the Library and Information Studies Library.

The Howard Ross Library of Management collects broadly in Management fields including Management Theory, Organization and Personnel Management, Communications Industries, Data Processing, and Public Relations.

The Physical Sciences and Engineering Library is the primary location for publications relating to Computer and Information Theory and Technology.

The Education Library collects in the fields of Literacy, Reading and Reading Education, both theoretical and applied. There is a sizeable working collection of Children's Literature including both primary and secondary titles. It contains a complete collection of ERIC microfiche.

The Law Library holds publications which deal with the legal aspects of a number of topics of special interest to the library and information studies community: in particular censorship, copyright, intellectual property, and public lending right.

Non-Library Resources Available in the School

The Graduate School of Library and Information Studies has an Information Technology Laboratory which contains a variety of databases and software to support its educational mission.

Regional Resources

The Bibliothèque de bibliothéconomie of the Université de Montréal has, among other things, a strong collection of non-Canadian French-language Library and Information Studies materials.

Local CEGEPs with library technology programmes, as well as the  Webster Library at Concordia Universitycollect relevant materials.

The Library Development Centre of the National Library of Canada has the mandate to collect materials pertaining to the practice of librarianship in this country at a comprehensive level.

Consortia and Document Delivery

Journal articles and books not owned by McGill libraries are available free of charge to McGill students and faculty via the Document Delivery Service in the McLennan Building.  Faculty and graduate students can order journal articles directly through the Canadian Institution for Science and Technology Information. Articles not owned by CISTI itself are obtained from the extensive collection of the British Lending Library.  Articles are delivered in a timely fashion at no charge to the user.

Membership in large research consortia provides access to vast bibliographic databases and to efficient document delivery systems based on the holdings of North America's most eminent research collections.

General Collection Guidelines

Treatment of the Subject: Research and professional literature is the primary focus.

National Coverage: Priority is given to North American publications, followed by those of the United Kingdom.

Languages: English and French.

Date of Publication: Current publications are the primary focus of purchase. Retrospective materials, if appropriate, may be acquired by gift, exchange, special funding, or on occasion by purchase.

Chronological Coverage: Materials covering both contemporary and historical topics are collected.

Subjects and Levels of Collecting

Collection Levels derived from the American Library Association's Guide for Written Collection Policy Statements, 2nd. ed., 1996. The subject outline is based on that employed by LISA Library and Information Sciences Abstracts.

General treatments, theoretical works 3b 3b
Research 3b 3b
Profession 3b 3b
Library Associations 3b 3b
Library Education 3b 3b
Comparative librarianship 3a 3b
Libraries in general 3a 3a
National Libraries 3b 3b
Public Libraries 3b 3b
College and University Libraries 3b 3b
Special Libraries 3b 3b
Institutional Libraries 2 3a
Hospital Libraries 2 3a
Records Centres 3a 3b
Youth and Children's Libraries 3a 3a
School Libraries 2 2
Users by special characteristics 3a 3a
Users by Special occupations 3a 3a
Archives 3a 3a
Audio Visual Materials by Subject Interest 1 1
Rare Books (secondary materials) 1 1
Subject collections (other than library & information studies) 1 1
Information Technology 4 4
Personnel 3b 3b
Library Architecture and Equipment 3a 3a
Library Administration and Management 4 4
     Knowledge Management 4 4
Library Co-operation and Networks 3b 3b
Libraries and Government 3a 3b
Information Work 3b 3b
Instruction in the Use of Libraries and Information Resource 3a 3b
     Information Literacy 3a 3b
Reference Services 3b 3b
Cultural Activities (Extension Work) 3a 3a
Acquisitions 3a 3a
Collection Development and Management 3a 3a
Interlibrary Loans 3a 3b
Descriptive Bibliography 3b 3b
Subject Indexing 3b 3b
Preservation and Conservation 3a 3b
Circulation/Document Delivery Systems 3a 3b
Cataloguing and Classification 3b 4

Co-ordination and Co-operation

McLennan Reference Department: Recommendations for the purchase of reference materials are forwarded to the Reference Department.

Information Science: There is good co-operation with the appropriate bibliographers in the Physical Sciences and Engineering and Management Libraries concerning responsibilities in collecting and locating titles concerning Information Science. Cybernetics, computer science, mathematics, and electrical and electronic engineering are as a rule not collected.

Management: Materials are collected in so far as they relate to libraries, information centres, and information work and relate among other things to the following: the management of libraries and information centres, publications of library and information studies associations, histories of library management, information resources management, the management of information networks, the creation and management of NREN. Excluded are pure management theory and practice. Individual titles may be acquired however, on the advice of faculty members.

Literacy: Materials are collected on literacy in so far as they relate to libraries and information centres. Particular attention is paid to literacy in Canada and items related to it may be purchased on the advice of faculty. For titles which fall outside of this rather narrow scope there is consultation with the Education Librarian, or with the appropriate McLennan bibliographer depending on the focus of the publication.

Rare Books and Special Collections: Suggestions for publications concerning rare books and the history of printing are forwarded to the Head of Rare Books and Special Collections. Secondary materials which discuss and analyze rare books and the art and craft of printing are acquired for the general McLennan-Redpath collection as necessary.

Children's Literature: The Education Library is the primary collector of children's literature which it acquires to support literature and language courses offered by the Faculty of Education, and by the School of Information Studies. Works of fiction, folklore, legends, biography and other materials written for children are acquired. The Children's Demonstration Collection (CDC), places an emphasis on Canadian materials (including books published in French), and works by contemporary and popular authors, award and honour books. The Humanities and Social Sciences Library acquires literature in support of the English Department. This includes children's books written by authors not known as children's authors, classical works that form the canon of children's literature and criticism and histories of these materials.

Questions? Ask Us!    Email  •  Chat  •  Phone            Send feedback