Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: International Documents

Factors Influencing Collection Policy

A. Anticipated future trends

Internationalizing at MSU: MSU’s focus on International Studies in all areas is expected to only increase over time. International Development and International Relations will remain strong areas of collection for the foreseeable future. The university has institutionalized internationalization throughout the curriculum, and International Documents will play a strong role in supporting that goal.

Electronic Publication: IGOs are increasingly publishing their materials electronically, and sometimes either in limited print runs or no print at all. Some agencies have made a commitment to archiving, while others have not.The collection is in a transition from print to electronic format with OECD and World Bank publications transitioning to online subscriptions in the last 3-5 years. The increasing amount of free online IGO publications makes the decision to acquire print equivalents problematic, in light of user preference for electronic formats and space considerations.

MSUL is currently cataloging electronic versions of many IGO publications. Some records are received through a vendor (Serial Solutions), but the vendor does not comprehensively cover all IGOs of interest. Others are selected for cataloging by the International Government Information Librarian, but this is not being done in any systematic way. For the most part, such decisions to catalog are based on the perceived need of that particular material on campus.

B. Relationships with other resources

1. On campus collections:

  • The MSU Law Library has some International materials that duplicate our collections, particularly in the area of treaties.
  • Scattered International Documents holdings can be found in the James Madison Library. These materials largely duplicate what is held in Main.

2. Regional resources

  • The University of Michigan Government Documents library is a UN Depository Library, and their Law Library is the European Union depository library. The law library does not circulate its collections.

C. Relationships to resources treated in other policy statements

  • The Health Sciences team collects major WHO materials, but this excludes the publications of regional WHO affiliates such as the Pan American Health Organization. International Documents has agreed to firm order selected regional publications particularly on public health issues such as AIDS, SARS, etc. Most WHO materials will be found in the Main Stacks, but because WHO co-publishes with other UN organizations,, co-publications may be found in the International Documents collection.
  • Area Studies subject specialists have historically collected some items published by regional IGOs such as the Asian Development Bank. Some such materials will be located in the main stacks. Occasionally this gives rise to duplicate orders.
  • The Business Library is keenly interested in the publications of the World Tourism Organization because of its relationship to the School of Hospitality. In recent years, these materials have been purchased by Business.
Michigan State University