Collection Management Policies: Reference Collection

Library Hours

Mon.-Thurs. 8am-Midnight

Fri. 8am-7pm

Sat. 10am-7pm

Sun. Noon-Midnight

View Hours

Libraries

Andrews Library

1140 Beall Avenue

Wooster, OH 44691

Phone: 330-263-2493

Fax: 330-263-2253

library@wooster.edu

The urpose of the Reference Collection is to provide readily available on-site or online access to those resources needed to support academic research in College of Wooster curricular areas.

Items Typically Placed in the Reference Collection

  • Works meant to be consulted briefly for historical, statistical, or background information
  • Works that are best accessed as a set
  • Collected works of literary criticism or biography
  • Indexes or abstracts
  • Works whose availability or content predisposes them to theft or loss if circulated

Collection Formats and Circulation Policy

The Reference collection consists of print, cd, microform, and electronic resources. Items in the print, cd, and microform collections do not circulate, unless special arrangements have been made with the Reference & Instruction Librarian and the relevant subject librarian (Andrews/Gault resources) or Science Librarian (Timken Science resources) for a short-term loan of 1 week or less. In general, Reference items are not placed on Reserve unless their use by so many users would require limiting individual access to a few hours at a time.

Collection Organization

There are several distinct clusters of Reference resources, each represented in the CONSORT catalog, and each with their own location and arrangement.

  • Electronic Resources - These are reference databases that are subscribed to locally (i.e. College of Wooster independent subscription) or consortially (through CONSORT, Ohio5 Colleges, or OhioLINK group subscriptions.) They are most easily accessed using the Databases by Title or via the various Subject Guide pages prepared by liaison librarians for each of the College of Wooster academic disciplines. Electronic reference databases are available to all College of Wooster Library patrons on site, and depending on licensing agreements, offsite to current College of Wooster faculty, staff, and students upon electronic authentication of affiliation.
  • WOO Atlas Stands - large (in height or width) contemporary and historical atlases most likely to be consulted for research across disciplines. They are located on the pull-out, flat shelved stands on Andrews 1 near the entrance to Gault library and are arranged by Library of Congress call number.
  • WOO Docs ReadyRef - most frequently consulted, quick answer, U. S. government document reference resources. They are located next to the Andrews Library Reference Desk and are arranged by SuDocs number.
  • WOO Docs Reference - official U.S. government documents and monographs including census materials. They are located on Andrews 1 and are arranged by SuDocs number, and in the case of census materials, by census year.
  • WOO Microfiche - Periodicals, historic texts, and select College of Wooster student Independent Studies in microfiche or ultrafiche (high reduction) format. Microfiche are kept in sleeved holders in metal cabinets on Andrews1 and are arranged in the case of periodicals by title, and in the case of student Independent Studies, by student name and class year. Microfiche pages may be printed or captured as pdf or jpeg images using the microform reader/printers on Andrews 1.

There are three ultrafiche collections: Human Relations Area File (HRAF), the Library of American Civilization (LAC), and the Library of English Literature (LEL). Ultrafiche cards are housed in wooden cabinets on Andrews 1, and are arranged within each of the three collections by card number. Ultrafiche pages may be printed using the ultrafiche reader/printer next to the ultrafiche cabinets.

  • WOO Microfilm - Periodicals and select monographs in a microfilm format. The film reels are housed in metal cabinets on Andrews 1. In the case of periodicals, the film is arranged alphabetically by periodical title, and in the case of monographs, the film is arranged by Library of Congress call number. Microfilm pages may be printed or captured as pdf or jpeg images using the microform reader/printers on Andrews 1.
  • WOO ReadyRef - most frequently consulted, quick answer, print reference resources located next to the Andrews Library Reference Desk. Items are arranged by Library of Congress call number.
  • WOO Reference - general humanities and social sciences print Reference collection located primarily on Gault1, with spillover into Andrews 1. Items are arranged alphabetically by Library of Congress call number.
  • Woo Science Ref - natural, mathematical, and physical science print Reference collection located in the Timken Science Library on the second floor. Items are arranged alphabetically by Library of Congress call number.

Acquisition of New Materials

Monographic items may be ordered for the Reference collection by College of Wooster librarians with subject liaison responsibilities. They may also be ordered by College of Wooster faculty members teaching in a given area, as long as such orders are with the knowledge and approval of the librarian responsible for that subject area, or in the case of general works, in consultation with the Reference & Instruction Librarian. Acquisition of monographic items for the Reference collection should meet the General Guidelines for Selection. In addition, the following should be considered before purchasing a print reference monograph:

  • Cost of the item relative to its potential use
  • Availability of electronic equivalents
  • Frequency of updated editions

Standing orders for print reference serials may be initiated for the Reference collection only if their purchase is approved by a majority of the College of Wooster librarians. Acquisition of standing orders for print reference serials should meet the General Guidelines for Selection. In addition, the following should be considered:

  • Cost of the item relative to its potential use over time
  • Availability of electronic equivalents
  • Frequency of updated editions
  • Additional shelf space required to house new volumes on an annual basis
  • Pedagogical and disciplinary preferences

Orders for electronic reference books/series may be initiated for the Reference collection only if their purchase is approved by a majority of the College of Wooster librarians. Orders for electronic reference books/series must meet the General Guidelines for Selection and the Guidelines for Electronic Resources. In addition, before committing to such an order the following should be considered:

  • Cost of the item relative to its potential use over time
  • Quality of the user interface
  • Whether the electronic item is owned upon purchase or leased on an annual basis
  • Need for simultaneous/off-campus use
  • Pedagogical and disciplinary preferences
  • Ability/desirability to eliminate print/microform equivalents already in the collection

Orders for new electronic databases may be initiated for the Reference collection only if their purchase is approved by a majority of the College of Wooster librarians. Orders for new electronic databases must meet the Guidelines for Electronic Resources. In addition, before committing to such an order, the following should be considered:

  • Consortial commitments to this and similar databases
  • Past history with similar products by the database vendor
  • Availability of customer support
  • Cost of the database relative to its potential use over time
  • Scope and authority of the database
  • Quality of the user interface
  • Frequency of database updates
  • Similar resources already in the collection
  • Whether the electronic item is owned upon purchase or leased on an annual basis
  • Need for simultaneous/off-campus use
  • Pedagogical and disciplinary preferences
  • Ability/desirability to eliminate print/microform equivalents already in the collection

Reference Collection Assessment

It is the responsibility of all College of Wooster subject liaison librarians, in consultation with departmental/program faculty, to regularly and systematically review the reference resources available to library users in their liaison areas in light of currency, relevance, scope, authority, curricular offerings, disciplinary needs, usage patterns, and average costs per use. It is also the responsibility of these librarians to adequately promote the availability of, effective use of, and changes to such resources within their subject areas.

It is the specific responsibility of the Reference & Instruction Librarian to coordinate the regular assessment and promotion of interdisciplinary and general reference resources in the collection and to conduct holistic assessments of reference collection patterns, trends, and needs. Collection assessment should include consultation with those subject librarians most likely to refer to such resources and should be conducted in consultation with interdisciplinary/interdepartmental and program faculty.