U.C. Berkeley Library Web


I. Objectives

The Doe Reference Collection is a non-circulating collection of approximately 45,000 volumes, primarily in the humanities, area studies, social sciences, and government information. The main purpose of the reference collection is to support the current and anticipated educational and research goals of its primary community of UCB students, faculty, and staff.

II. Primary Research, Instructional Programs, and Groups Served

A. UCB College of Letters and Science and the professional schools, and their faculties, students and staff, particularly those in the social sciences and humanities

B. UCB Centers, Institutes, and Organized Research Units

C. Faculty and students from UC campuses and other colleges and universities

D. General public

III. Scope of the Collection

Doe Reference collects extensively, from basic to research levels, in the humanities, area studies, social sciences and government information. In addition to general materials, the major subject areas covered include art history, ethnic, gender, media, and library and information studies, history (including the history of science), language and literature, performing arts, philosophy (including the philosophy of science), political science, religion, and sociology. Book trade and national bibliography titles are acquired selectively and are located either in the Doe Reference Center or Gardner Stacks.

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the research which the reference collection supports, Doe Reference collects selectively, on a basic level, in the areas covered by the following campus subject libraries: Anthropology, Business/Economics, Education/Psychology, Environmental Design, Music, and Social Welfare.

For the subject areas of pure and applied sciences, engineering, and law, which are covered comprehensively by other campus libraries, Doe Reference collects at a minimal level, i.e., general dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, directories, and biographical sources.

The Library is a depository for US federal, California state, and UN and other IGO publications. Most government information reference sources including US and foreign statistical yearbooks, legislative /statistical indexes, US/California legal codes, US Census, and other guides and bibliographies are housed in the Government and Social Science Information (GSSI) Reading Room, adjacent to the Doe Reference Center. GSSI also houses an extensive microfiche collection of UN publications as well as federal and international statistical sources and legislative documents. High use items including selected California, US, and IGO statistical sources, tax forms, federal and California budget information and almanacs/handbooks, etc., with current and/or historical information related to government and public affairs are located in the Doe Reference Center. "Government Documents Collections at UC Berkeley" http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/doemoff/gov_doccoll.html provides a more complete description of the government publications acquired by the Library.

In general, Doe Reference does not collect popular how-to-guides or genealogy except for general guides to sources.

Most of the collection is in English and Western European languages, but there are no language restrictions. Emphasis is on appropriate material in any language, which supports the subjects, and languages taught at UCB.

There are no geographical or chronological limitations for the collection.

Other Reference Collections in Doe:

IV. Format of Materials

Doe Reference collects in all appropriate formats, including print, microform, web-based and CD-ROM, according to availability, desirability, space and equipment requirements, and cost.

In consultation with Doe/Moffitt selectors, a core collection of significant reference works on CD-ROM are mounted on a server, integrated into the existing public workstation environment, and made available to users within the Doe/Moffitt libraries.

Web-based reference tools are made available via the Library home page.

V. Types of Materials

VI. Acquisition of Reference Materials

A. The reference selector has the primary responsibility of pursuing a systematic and continuous acquisition program for the reference collection. Reference staff in the RRC Department are consulted for their advice and expertise in certain subjects and languages. Government documents selectors will have responsibility for the acquisition and management of government information reference sources.

B. The reference selector works in close cooperation with Doe/Moffitt selectors, consulting with them, seeking recommendations, and sometimes sharing costs of an item to be housed in reference.

C. The reference selector consults a variety of sources to determine whether reference works considered for acquisition conform to the subject scope of the collection.

  1. Relevant professional literature is reviewed, e.g., Choice, College and Research Libraries, Reference & User Services Quarterly, RSR: Reference Services Review, American Reference Books Annual, Booklist, Reference Books Bulletin, Library Journal, TLS, and Reference Reviews Europe Online. In addition, book review sections of professional journals in the humanities, social sciences, area studies and government information are checked for important new publications.
  2. Publisher's catalogs and ads are perused.
  3. Subject and area selectors and faculty are consulted when appropriate to help determine the worthiness of a publication in some specific fields.
  4. Recommendations from selectors, faculty, students, and staff are considered.
  5. Standard reference collection guides such as the Guide to Reference Books by Robert Balay, Walford's Guide to Reference Material and subject guides are perused for older publications not in the current review literature.

D. The Reference selector maintains a desiderata list of titles for future acquisition as funding becomes available.

E. The Reference selector makes final decisions on adding material to the reference collection when books arrive and can be seen and evaluated, and assigns shelving locations, i.e., Moffitt, Doe or Gardner Stacks.

F. The Reference selector manages a separate budget line for the reference collection. Some purchases may be shared with other department librarians. Major purchases are submitted for consideration for funds managed by the AUL and Director for Collections.

G. Principles of selection:

  1. importance of subject matter in relation to the University's educational goals and the curriculum
  2. anticipation of and response to continuing and changing needs and interests of the campus community
  3. current and historical significance
  4. the attention of critics and reviews in leading library or academic journals or inclusion in basic reference collection guides
  5. budgetary considerations
  6. .
  7. space limitations
  8. relation to existing collection in regards to duplicate materials, alternative formats, and other material on the subject
  9. availability of materials in the UC System libraries, through interlibrary borrowing, and in special or more comprehensive library collections in the area
  10. authoritativeness, comprehensiveness, depth of treatment, and reputation and standing of the publisher

Additional criteria for selection of electronic resources:

  1. advantages of the digital resource are significant enough to justify its selection
  2. existence of same tool in other formats
  3. quality of interface design and online and printed documentation
  4. access and networking issues
  5. vendor reliability and customer support
  6. impact on public services support, systems staff, and space
  7. production quality and technical standards for the industry

VII. Maintenence,Retention and Weeding of the Collection

The reference selector, in consultation with other Doe/Moffitt selectors, is responsible for maintenance of the reference collection. The same criteria used for all reference materials will be used in evaluating electronic resources for preservation, de-selection or replacement. Faculty and other subject librarians are consulted as needed.

A. Preservation The reference selector, in conjunction with Preservation staff, reviews and negotiates the preservation and replacement of brittle, mutilated, rare, and out-of- print titles. Doe/Moffitt staff is asked to notify the reference selector of possible candidates for preservation.

B. Weeding Recognizing the need for continuous evaluation of the collection, the reference selector continuously reviews the collection for material that no longer fits within the scope of the reference collection. Reference staff will review materials identified for weeding before a final decision is made and reference staff who find appropriate titles for weeding are asked to call them to the attention of the reference selector.

See Appendix A for specific policies.

C. Retention- Policies vary from title to title and may be found in the online catalog records. Some items are kept historically complete, some for five to ten years, some "current year only," etc. Other items are selected for the collection but marked to weed in one year.

D. Location of Reference Materials Outside of the Reference Reading Rooms Because of space limitations and usage patterns, many reference titles are housed in the Gardner Stacks and in the Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF). Sources are designated as "Library Use Only" as necessary.



Collection Maintenance Policies: Weeding, Replacements, Binding, Mending and Discarding

  1. Weeding: maintenance and weeding of the collection are influenced by:

    a. physical condition beyond repair
    b. excess number of duplicate copies
    c. superseded editions
    d. materials not suited for the collection
    e. outdated material
    f. insufficient use will be considered but not used as a sole factor

  2. Replacement: material will be replaced based on the following considerations:

    a. demand for the specific titles to support the curriculum
    b. number of copies held
    c. existing coverage of the subject within the collection
    d. availability of newer and better materials on the subject

  3. Binding, Mending and Discarding: decisions will be made continuously on how to handle worn books and whether to mend, bind or withdraw. Paperbound reference monographs are bound on receipt to withstand library use. Serials are bound on a frequency appropriate to the receipt of the volumes. Binding, mending and discarding material are influenced by:

    a. actual condition of the book
    b. number of duplicate copies in the collection
    c. current validity of a title's contents
    d. availability of the title for reorder
    e. cost of mending versus the cost of replacement

Copyright (C) 2001 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.
Document maintained on server: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/
by: Lori Foster
Last update 12/10/01. Server manager: webman@library.berkeley.edu