As a full partner in the educational enterprise, the role of the Library is to support and enhance the learning experience of students. We do this by:
- maintaining collections of books, slides, digital images, and other media which support the curriculum and goals of the college;
- through reference service; and
- through teaching students and faculty how to find and evaluate information-- visual, printed, and electronic.
It is the role of the Director of the Library to select and manage the collections of the Library with the assistance of other librarians. The primary clientele for the print collection is students. The primary clientele for the slide collection and digital images is the faculty. The clientele for electronic resources is the entire Otis community.
Faculty and Chairs establish curriculum, advise students, and, in effect drive the collection needs of the Library. Whenever possible faculty bibliographies, course outlines, and specific recommendations are solicited and used to assist in collection development.
The Academic Assembly and Chairs Council advise the Director on matters of policy relating to the collection.
It is not the goal of this library to keep growing indefinitely in total number of volumes. We will continue to weed and replace outdated and little used material. The goal in to increase the collection to 50,000 volumes over the next 5 years.
Policies related to accession of donations are the same as those related to purchases. We are, however, very liberal in accepting donations as long as it is understood that we may sell or give away what we do not need. The library is thereby able to provide free or inexpensive resources to students through book sales and giveaways.
Scope of Otis Library Collection
The collection supports the mission of the college and is driven by the curriculum. We focus on 20th C. visual art, design, and fashion with an emphasis of collecting specifically to support each major at Otis. The collection also supports curricula in art history, critical studies, media studies, cultural studies, and, to varying levels, other subjects taught by the Liberal Studies department. We also collect some materials to support the extracurricular needs of the faculty and students.
Most materials that support the art and design curriculum fall within the "initial study level" and the "advanced study level." Collecting to support liberal studies is primarily at the "basic level" with the exception of Art History, which is primarily at the "initial to advanced study level." Collecting outside the areas taught is done at the "minimal level" or not at all. (*See below for a definition of levels.)
quick reference materials
visual resources (book format rather than picture files)
surveys & histories
textbooks (only if donated by departments)
museum collections (minimally)
technical/manuals (except computer application manuals which outdate quickly)
periodicals and serials
abstracts and indexes
videos (art and artists, documentaries, animation, + some features)
DVDs (current area of greatest expected change)
museum and gallery publications
artists' books and book art
current ephemera from galleries, art organizations (not saved)
interactive CD-ROMs (small circulating collection)
Otis theses (when asked)
Formats Generally NOT Collected:
sales catalogues and auction catalogs (except those about about particular subjects)
trade literature (except for an occasional directory like The Workbook)
photographs and reproductions of works of art
sound recordings, films
works of art in editions (except when they could be defined as artists book)
Criteria for Selection:
reviews in tools such as Library Journal, Choice, and art journals
bibliographies (very selectively)
quality of construction
reputation of authors/artists
number and quality of reproductions
faculty or student requests
on a course bibliography
overall balance of the collection
catalog raisonne (when well-illustrated and affordable)
ciruculation statistics for similar materials
All of the above + the following:
total usage combined with information on last date circulated
deaccession of out-of-print materials is carefully considered
number of duplicate copies
age and/or condition
newer edition or better title available
if outside scope, suitability or appropriateness
unsolicited and unwanted gifts
fragility or need for special preservation attention
perception of possible future demand
Written Nov. 1995.
Revised and reviewed by Library Committee, Dec. 1999
Approved by Academic Assembly, Spring 2000. Updated by Library Director 5/2006
Levels of Collecting Defined (Adapted from ARLIS Standards for Art Libraries)
A. Comprehensive Level. Everything by everyone in every language on a particular subject.
B. Research Level. Like UCLA, all major books, reference works, indexing services. Aimed at researchers, i.e. Ph.D.s.
C1. Advanced Study Level. Aimed at supporting advanced undergraduates or graduates. Wide range of current and retrospective materials. Complete collection of major writers, some selections of secondary writers, selections of journals, etc.
C2. Initial Study Level. Adequate to support undergraduate courses. Judicious selection from current monographs such as those reviewed in Choice, seminal retrospective monographs, such as titles from Books for College Libraries. Selections of important works in area, the most significant works of secondary writers; current editions of the most significant reference tools and bibliographies.
D. Basic Level. Highly selective collection which serves to introduce and define the subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere. Major dictionaries and encyclopedias, selected important works, historical surveys, important bibliographies, a few major periodicals in the field.
E. Minimal Level. Only a few very basic works.