Current Opportunities & Challengesin Criminal Justice & CriminologyCollections Development inAcademic LibrariesWil WestonHead of CollectionsSan Diego State University
Elements of Criminal Justice Collection Development
Criminal Justice: At SDSU • Undergraduate and Masters Programs in the School of Public Affairs. (with Dept. of Soc.) • Holistic Program: covering such subjects as criminology, criminal justice, law, political science, psychology, sociology, & social work. • Globalization, World-wide and home grown terrorism, and the WWW have made the world smaller. The crime committed half a world away isn’t so far removed anymore. • Graduate Program in Homeland Security. • Including an examination of the issues of economic policy, and social justice. • New emphasis on such things as: Border security, human and drug trafficking, and internet crime.
User Community: SDSU Faculty and Students Faculty: • Research interests vary from law and society; bureaucratic accountability; criminal procedure; police behavior; public safety and individual liberty; deviant behavior; capital punishment; international and homeland security; impact of history on criminal justice policy; juvenile justice; youth gangs; girls’ involvement in gangs; and the sentencing and treatment of criminal offenders. Students: • Non-traditional: preparing for a second career or returning student to expand career goals, working, commuting, preparing to undertake law school; and frequently from the military.
Challenges for Faculty• Impossible to own all the research materials that they require. Subject area is too big and too broad.• Connecting them to other libraries: interlibrary loan, other local university libraries.• Complications: ebooks (can’t borrow), restricted access to collections, slow ILL, backfilling the following year (too late?).
Challenges for Students• Hesitant to look beyond the subject heading. Don’t frequently see the connections to other subject areas: like social work, psychology, sociology, or political science.• Time sensitive. (NOT the materials) Because I have so many non-traditional students I have to take into consideration deliverability (format: ebooks, etc.). Want it now, want it from home, want it easy to understand.• Critical thinking skills sometimes need a little dusting off. Occasionally too accepting of the first thing that they find. (But, they turn into information sleuths pretty quickly.)
Challenges for the Librarian: SubjectSpecialist in Criminal Justice.• Recognize the holistic nature. Purchase and search accordingly. Determining the scope of your collection is more important than ever. Where are there other parts of the collection that can fill in or support Criminal justice program.• Staying in contact with your faculty. Their research needs change. Inform them that you want to meet their needs, but have little funding. Ask for priority items. NOTE: Keep your wish lists and revisit them with your faculty every year.• Ebooks.• LESS and LESS money for monographs. Journal cancelations. Approval plan evaporated and having to select title by title.
There are opportunities…• Increased focus upon Information literacy. Better use existing or free resources.• Assisting and guiding student research. How can I help your graduate students. Methodology class, or the Intro/Orientation class. Better learn their needs.• Embedding in classes and departments. You learn more in one semester long class (or keeping an office hour in the department) than in a year with just students at the library point of service. Also, another way of learning their material needs.• Exploring Patron Driven Acquisitions (consortial PDA: CSU Electronic Access & Resources Committee). Having your users take a more active role in selection.