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University of Connecticut University Libraries

Collection Development and Access Plan:
School of Family Studies

Prepared by Kathy Banas-Marti, DATE: Fall, 2002
DRAFT for review by the School of Family Studies


The purpose of this Collection Development and Access Plan is threefold. First, it is a tool for the Library to become better informed of the information and data needs of academic programs on campus. Second, it will outline how existing local collections, networked electronic services, and document delivery services are being utilized to meet the bibliographic needs of these programs. Third, it is hoped that this plan will provide the faculty and the library staff a base for dialog concerning future information needs and areas for cooperation. This plan follows the broad guidelines established in Ownership and Access in a Global Information Market: A Framework for the University of Connecticut Libraries, issued by the Chancellor's Library Advisory Committee in March 1999.


  1. Characteristics of the Community
  2. Collections Budget Expenditure Patterns
  3. Current Patterns of Information Service
  4. Emerging Choices

I. Characteristics of the Community

The School of Family Studies, founded in 1893 as the Department of Domestic Science, is an interdisciplinary program, with a faculty of behavioral and social scientists and practitioners focused on understanding and improving the welfare of America’s families. Courses focus on contemporary issues and research concerning individual development and family processes. The School of Family Studies is considered the "people school" because it prepares students in a variety of fields related to careers in human services in both business and non-profit sectors.

The School of Family Studies joined the Division of Health and Human Development (DHHD), along with the Schools of Allied Health, Nursing and Pharmacy on July 1, 2002. The unique collaboration enables UCONN’s four health and human development- related schools to combine their individual strengths and perspectives. Faculty and staff work together to form a distinct interdisciplinary mix to prepare UCONN students for their chosen professions. This alliance reflects a national trend to provide a more holistic approach to the health care field. The new Division offers enhanced curricular opportunities for students and collaborative research innovations for faculty.

  1. Factual Background

    Faculty: 20
    Students: Undergraduate - 591
    Master’s - 25
    Doctoral - 49

  2. Departmental Narrative

    The School of Family Studies confers degrees at the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral levels.

    Undergraduate concentrations: Childhood and Adolescence
    Early Childhood Development and Education
    Family Relationships: Services and Counseling
    Family in Society: Social Policy and Planning
    Adult Development and Aging

    In addition, undergraduate students who are interested in preparing for careers in aging can pursue an Undergraduate Minor in Gerontology.

    MA concentrations: Child & Adolescent Development
    Adult Development and Aging
    Family Systems and Relations
    Marriage and Family Therapy - accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), an affiliate of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

    Ph.D candidates:
    The School of Family Studies has a small and highly selective doctoral program for individuals strongly committed to careers in teaching and research. The School of Family Studies also offers a clinical doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy, which like the Master’s Degree is also fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), an affiliate of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

II. Collections Budget Expenditure Patterns

Typical Library allocation: $15,000
Typical Breakdown: $7,000 monographs and other media; $8,000 for serials

Networked Services:
Electronic indexing, abstracting, and full-text services purchased by the Library’s Networked Services budget (not reflected in the above figures) which primarily (or in some cases significantly) support research in the School of Family Studies include: AgeLine, Child Abuse, Child Welfare & Adoption, ERIC, Medline, PsycInfo, Social Work Abstracts, Sociological Abstracts and Women’s Resources International. In addition, more general use electronic resources are available via Academic Universe, Dissertation Abstracts, Dow Jones Interactive, Infotrac Expanded Academic Index, First Search, Ingenta, WilsonWeb (including Social Sciences Abstracts) and Web of Science (including Social Sciences Citation Index).

For a more complete list of databases consult the Human Development and Family Studies Resources by Subject page at: /research/bysubject/hdfs.htm.

III. Current Patterns of Information Service

  1. Characteristics of the Literature

    The discipline of family studies relies on both journal literature and book materials for its teaching and research needs.

    Because of the strong interdisciplinary nature of Family Studies research, there is wide use of literature in a variety of other disciplines such as psychology, sociology, political science, law, education, women's studies, religious studies, health policy, and social work, among others.

  2. Collection Development
    1. Areas of Focus

      Current research activities address a broad range of topics including infants' emotional development and attachment to parents; cultural patterning of emerging behavioral systems; social functioning in day-care settings; school readiness; children's and adolescents' responses to parental warmth and neglect; the cultural organization of parents' belief systems; parent education; marital and family relations; spouse/partner violence; assessment and intervention with couples and families; effectiveness of supervision in marriage and family therapy training; adult patterns of coping with disease; and housing needs of the elderly.

      Methods of research are drawn from the multidisciplinary backgrounds of faculty and include observations in both field and laboratory settings, clinical and semi-structured interviewing, standardized measures of individual and family functioning, and archival analysis; both naturalistic and experimental paradigms are employed. Faculty research is supported by grants and contracts from federal and state agencies as well as private philanthropic foundations.

    2. Acquisition Strategies
      1. Monographs

        The University of Connecticut Libraries uses the approval plan services of Yankee Book Peddler to supply the bulk of new monographs. Books are received based on a profile that is broad in coverage for the School of Family Studies. Notify slips are provided for items that fall outside the profile but which may be of interest. Some titles are selected and ordered from these slips. Publishers who do not to discount to Yankee or produce less than five titles a year are not covered. In addition, catalogs from publishers and reviews from various sources are consulted for other materials that might be added to the collections. Specific suggestions from library users, including students and faculty, are always given full consideration.

        Textbooks, popular reading, guide books, examinations, laboratory manuals, software and hardware manuals are generally not collected. Dissertations must be specifically requested for purchased.

      2. Journals

        The library subscribes to a good collection of social science journals. New journal subscriptions in Human Development and Family Studies are generally ordered pursuant to a student or faculty request. The Library requires special justification, or evidence of demand from our document delivery statistics, to consider titles from for-profit publishers known for rapidly increasing the subscription costs of their titles. Also, addition of new titles will likely require trade-offs (i.e., cancellations) of currently held titles.

        Electronic access to journals in the social sciences is increasing. The University of Connecticut Libraries purchases access to over 10,000 journals, online and in full text, through various databases and commercial online journal providers. eCompass, the library’s Full Text Journal Locator can be used to determine if a title is available through one or more of the Libraries' electronic resources, and to connect to the database or online journal directly.

      3. Other Media

        Videos are purchased for the program in collaboration with faculty who want to use them for class viewing and instruction. Videos are charged to the book budget portion of the collection development budget allocated to the School of Family Studies.

  3. Access Development

    In order to assist the School of Family Studies researchers to locate the research materials they need, the Library will use a combination of local collections, licensed electronic products, subject and program-based web links, current awareness services, and document delivery and interlibrary loan.

    1. Relevant Indexes, Abstracts, Library Catalogs and Bibliographic Utilities

      The current compliment of general electronic indexing, abstracting, full-text services, and current awareness services as well as those specific to the School of Family Studies (see section Current Library Expenditures, Networked Services) provided by the Library seems sufficient to meet the above stated objective.

    2. Electronic Journals, Books and Data

      User enthusiasm and economic incentives have caused the library to embrace electronic only access to commercial as well as non-profit journal packages. With the subscription year that begins in January 2004, if a cost savings is available, the libraries are generally converting journal subscriptions that currently bring us both print and electronic copies to electronic-only provision.

      We are making this change on a publisher-by-publisher basis. Many of our electronic journals do not come directly by license from the publisher, but instead through aggregator products such as Lexis-Nexis Academic, Dow-Jones, InfoTrac and Wilson Web. The arrangements between aggregators and publishers are constantly in flux. Only when titles are available through multiple aggregators, in a complete and reasonably current version will the cancellation of print be considered.

      We have resisted going electronic-only up to now because of concerns about long-term, archival access. Commercial publishers cannot be relied upon to archive their content once the prospect of additional sales approaches nil. Although a solution is far from in place, we believe that technologies now under examination, with funding from the National Science Foundation among others, will yield solutions whereby the largest research libraries will undertake the distributed archiving of digital content in all our interest. We expect that even the largest commercial publishers will, ultimately, cooperate with such an arrangement.

      One of the primary goals in the immediate future will be to identify the journals for which we have a subscription but not electronic access, and attempt to add said access. Often the stumbling block for doing so is the license agreement. Additionally, many of the society journals are only now being made available electronically. Often, online access to these titles is free with a print subscription. Retaining access to the already respectable menu of online journals provided by the Library is an ongoing library goal although this effort is becoming increasingly difficult. Because of unsustainable inflation of scholarly journals, electronic only access may be increasingly viewed as a viable option. The question of permanent access to reliable archives of this material is not yet resolved, making such a switch a risky venture.

      Furthermore, electronic journals can be hot linked to web based indexes like Web of Science, and the electronic resources listed above. Additionally, the Library’s electronic journal locator, eCompass, facilitates the identification of specific e-journal titles "owned" by the Library (i.e., accessible via the University internet domain, "".)

    3. Other Internet-based resources

      The Human Development and Family Studies Library Liaison maintains a web page that organizes and promotes a wide range of electronic resources for the School of Family Studies including locally licensed indexing/abstracting services and full-text resources located at: /research/bysubject/hdfs.htm.

      The liaison welcomes comments on improvements to the page and/or additional sites which should be listed.

    4. Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan

      DD/ILL is an integral part of all our collection development and access plans. DD/ILL data is actively considered in relation to both journal purchase decisions and collection budget planning.

      The DD/ILL statistics for 2001-2002 for HDFS are:

      Total Requests: 669

      Photocopies (journal articles):
      Faculty = 57
      Graduates = 271

      Faculty = 41
      Graduates = 300

IV. Emerging Choices

Having recently joined the Division of Health and Human Development (DHHD), along with the Schools of Allied Health, Nursing and Pharmacy, the School of Family Studies will benefit from the resources of the other schools. The alliance reflects a national trend to provide a more holistic approach to the health care field. In the future, enhanced collaboration among library liaisons for Family Studies Allied Health, Nursing and Pharmacy will address the possible advantages of building the Library collections for the Division rather than for each separate school.

The School of Family Studies will continue to rely on books and journals for teaching and research. In the future literature in the social sciences will become more widely available via electronic access. As more Family Studies journals become available in electronic format, the Library’s will need to consider the pros and cons of switching to exclusively electronic access for certain titles.

The future of collecting to support the School of Family Studies in a changing information economy
Both continuing inflation in the unit cost of print and electronic publications, and expanding demand for new products and services are anticipated. The Libraries do not expect the University to solve this problem by increasing the Libraries' share of limited University resources. The Libraries hope for a continuation of the current level of support, but cannot regard it as guaranteed. Increasingly though, measures of user behavior: circulation by classification and patron affiliation; database use; and ILL/document delivery activity will play a role in budget decision-making.

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