A. Chronology: Because the curriculum focuses on developing knowledge, skills, and abilities required by administrators and public policy makers, collection emphasis has been and remains on, primarily, current materials.
B. Language: English is the primary language of the monograph and serial collections. Materials in other languages are selectively ordered primarily by area studies librarians.
C. Geography: The major focus is on the United States and Michigan. However, due to the fact that local and national policy issues are impacted by foreign and international developments, a fair amount of materials are collected in these areas as well.
D. Types of materials and formats: Monographs and serial publications are the most commonly acquired type of publication. This includes dictionaries, indexes, abstracts, encyclopedias, and specialized bibliographies. Transactions and proceedings are acquired selectively, as are major microform or print collections as funding permits. Antiquarian materials and manuscripts from other countries, films or videos, and introductory textbooks are not collected. Popular treatments are selectively collected when they represent interest groups, policy directions, or practical applications. Government documents and maps are selected by librarians who deal with these special formats, although legal materials and reports of private and quasi-public foundations or citizen groups are sometimes collected when they deal with breaking or traditional public policy topics. All MSU PhD dissertations and masters theses are collected, as well as publications of MSU faculty or research centers. Databases are acquired as appropriate, making sure we do not provide the same information in both paper and electronic fashion.
E. Data: Adding research data is a potential step for this subject collection. Note: In response to a request from a political science faculty member, the MSU Libraries purchased the text of all the Congressional Records and its predecessors from 1789 through 1918 for research and instruction of political science students in data mining. Others might consider adding their research data to already existing data archives such as ICPSR. Or the Roper Center Public Opinion Archives.
For new or additional possible depositories consult Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science List of Data Repositories and the Registry of Research Data Repositories.
F. Date of publication: Although we have older materials in our collection, most of the materials in our library were acquired since the 1960s when Michigan State became a major national university. Current materials are emphasized; retrospective acquisitions are very selective.