A. Curricular/Research/Programmatic Needs
The Library Science collection in the Main Library supports the University's programs by providing materials the Libraries staff needs to complete successfully their mission of providing quality library services to the community. The collection also supports the Libraries staff requirements for professional literature and research materials on the several curricular areas for which an individual bibliographer acquires materials for the Main Library and the various branch libraries.
The collection also meets the needs of patrons requiring general information, instructional and/or research materials in the fields of the history of books and printing, paleography, typography, book industries (book trade and publishing), book evaluation, copyright, and censorship.
Museum studies encompasses materials that support the curriculum in the areas of museum education and exhibition, administration, diversity of collections, curatorial methods and practices, and the museum internship. It also includes research materials on the preservation and/or conservation of both books and the many types of objects that make up a museum collection.
B. History of the Collection/ Existing Strengths and Emphases
For many years, the College of Education offered a major in school library media, and during that time more materials were collected about school libraries and school media centers than currently. Although the College of Education teaches courses on childrens and young adults literature, and reading, the Main Library never collected fiction or non-fiction at the K-12 level. The collection of such school library materials, formerly housed in Erickson Hall, has been dispersed, with the fiction collection added to that of the East Lansing Public Library. The existing strengths and emphases of the Main Libraries collection are on current materials in the English language about contemporary academic libraries concerns and problems, including management, administration, personnel, and leadership; buildings and architecture; reference, automation, online catalogs, networking, library systems, online searching, the Internet, and library instruction; acquisitions and cataloging; preservation or conservation of materials; collection building and bibliography; copyright, censorship, and intellectual freedom. There is also a rather limited core collection in archives and archival administration, offset somewhat by the fact that it is fairly international in scope, in a number of mostly European languages.
The history of books and printing has never been a major area of curricular instruction at MSU, although it is part of a professional librarian=s development, and so has a place within the collection. Book history, the book trade, and typography were an area of personal interest for two bibliographers, Robert Runser and Henry Koch, whose work helped turn what had been a college library into a major research library in the years after WWII and on into the 1980's. The bulk of the collection is represented in the areas of the history of printing in the U.S. and UK; paleography; the history of individual presses; book industries and trade; book design and construction; composition, typesetting, practical printing, and typographical innovation. Much less has been added in these areas in the last decade of the 20th century and currently. The collection is comprised of materials for research at the master=s level, includes a fair amount of foreign language items, and is dominated by monographs.
Museum studies is a fairly recent curricular addition, but the Libraries has been collecting advisedly although widely in the areas of conservation and preservation from about the mid-nineteen seventies. The majority of acquisitions address issues such as the history and philosophy of museums; professional development, e.g. ethics; exhibition design; technologies; museum management; and the various aspects of collections management of non-textual materials (works of art on paper, ceramic, glass, metalwork, stone, textiles, woodwork, photographs, sound recordings, storage media, etc.); care or curatorship, that is, chemical composition of materials, handling, repair, conservation, and storage; public relations and marketing; diversity, education, and interpretation. The preservation and conservation areas include both paper and non-paper objects and cover disaster management and emergency preparedness; environment (temperature, humidity, pests, lighting, etc.); in-house repairs; library binding operations; preservation microfilming, copying (brittle books), digitization; and program planning and administration.