Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Psychology

Factors Influencing Collection Policy

A. Anticipated future trends

Psychology is becoming an everyday topic. Literary criticism, business management, computer design, and school programs all are areas in which scholars are interested in how psychological theory interacts with their topics. This trend toward interdisciplinary interest will continue and expand. The budget for psychology resources within the Libraries may need to expand somewhat to meet this need, but selectors in all subjects will also have to purchase psychologically oriented studies.

B. Relationships with other resources

  1. On campus branch or format collections, if any

    The science section of the Main Library houses significant materials that classify as psychiatry. Much of this is also of interest to psychologists, who tend to see the division as artificial. The essential interdisciplinarity of psychology, as mentioned above, also means that there are holdings of importance to psychology in the Business Library, and in many other areas of Main.

  2. Regional or network resources, if any

    Two other research libraries in the state have significant holdings in psychology: Wayne State and University of Michigan.

C. Relationships to resources treated in other policy statements.

Education has a strong overlap with the field of psychology. The Psychology Department's emphasis on organizational and industrial psychology results in a substantial overlap with business as well. There is also a significant "popular" aspect to psychology. Materials on the paranormal, witchcraft, and similar topics classify in this area. While there is little curricular emphasis of these subjects, they remain of perennial interest to college students. The Popular Culture collection in Special Collections acquires some titles to meet this demand, but the psychology selector must buy some materials to maintain a circulating collection. These subjects are also high theft.

Within the social sciences, particularly sociology, and social work; and the sciences, particularly psychiatry and neuroscience, and also in gender studies, there is such a great degree of overlap of interest among faculty that firm collection lines are hard to draw. The Psychology selector retains primary responsibility for purchasing materials that classify as "BF" or "HM 251-291", but must also select materials in other classification areas that are vital to the research interests of Psychology Department faculty but have not been selected by the classification's primary selectors. This requires an ongoing collaborative relationship with several other selectors.

Michigan State University