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Kenyon College


Collection Development Policy: Biology


Aimee Jenkins's picture
Aimee Jenkins
Reference Desk Hours:
Tuesdays 10am-12pm

Biology Collection Development Policy


For the Department of Biology, the purposes of the library collection materials are to support both the pedagogical and research goals of the department and the college. Specifically, the collections serve the following purposes.

  1. Serve the needs of the students in Biology courses by serving as a resource for: papers and assignments; student-faculty student-student discussions of the biological literature; and as the foundation for independent research in biology.
  2. Serve the pedagogical needs of the Biology faculty for researching materials to be used in lectures and labs, and as the bases for student-faculty and faculty-faculty discussions of the literature.
  3. Serve the research needs of the Biology faculty in their scholarship within the context of an undergraduate institution. Specifically, we need appropriate materials for keeping up-to-date with the current work in our respective fields; materials to help us write grants that support our work; and materials that we can use for writing papers and books that will be used to distribute our work. These research needs are addressed as resources allow.
  4. Serve the needs of the college and the community by serving as a resource for people interested in biological topics. Some areas of special mention include health and healthcare topics; natural history, especially of Ohio; and environmental and ecological topics, both of world-wide and of local interest.


As our departmental faculty have research and teaching interests that are very broadly-based, covering topics including Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Genetics, Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Physiology, Development, Behavior, Mathematical Biology, Toxicology, Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Sciences, we must keep, maintain, and improve our collections across a wide range of biological topics, including subject fields that may not now exist.


Serials, books, and videos on biological topics. A few key journals should be collected in print, however, electronic serials should form the bulk of the collection of periodicals. Books are increasingly less important to collect than electronic resources.


Most of our journal collection is currently online. The bound print journal collection should remain for archival purposes, but in the future, as the biology-related publishing field changes, we should move towards a more electronic environment. Our next challenge is to determine how to appropriately catalog and provide access to all electronic journal formats, subscription-based and those freely available online.

We predominately hold print copies of books.Other than print or electronic, possible formats in the collection will include: microfiche; CD-ROM; videos; and photographs and plates.


Predominantly English, although we need to maintain our collection of literature in other languages, especially German and French from the 19th century and the earlier parts of the 20th century.


Predominantly North American and European publishers, although some coverage of journals from South America, Africa, and Asia is desirable. The coverage of subjects, especially in ecology and environmental studies needs to be worldwide, with strengths in the Ohio and surrounding regions, while other fields of biology are not dependent on geography.


We need to maintain our present holdings, which are deep in the classical mainstream journals that go back to the early parts of the 20th century (or earlier). Where we have several editions of books, it is not necessary to keep all of the editions, but only the most recent ones. We need to keep, and increase our holdings of serials, whether on paper, or on-line, in the future.

Reference Collection

Materials in the reference collection should be recent, no more than four years old. These items may include subject specific dictionaries and encyclopedias. Access to databases of article citations should be provided for the largest number of users in the most cost-effective manner (for example, multiple-user access to on-line formats are preferred to single-user CD-ROM access).

Circulating Collection

Materials in the local, circulating collection should include a variety of older, recent, and new publications. For example, reference materials from the past five years may be available in the stacks. Classic works will be collected and stored locally. Textbooks will not generally be collected. Faculty members in the department will collaborate with the library liaison to review holdings in the circulating collection regularly.

Offsite Storage

Offsite storage is an appropriate location for Kenyon-owned materials that have not circulated in the past ten years. Offsite storage may also be an appropriate location for bound juornals which are also available online. Faculty members in the department may recommend journal titles for offsite storage. Offsite storage may also be an appropriate location for advanced materials in subfields of biology which are not currently being studied or taught at Kenyon.


Our current government documents holdings should be maintained and enhanced in the future, especially regarding EPA publications. Although we have no other biological special collections now, if materials are acquired in the future, we should maintain and improve the access to the materials by students, faculty, and the public.


Participation by the Kenyon libraries in CONSORT and OhioLINK gives us access to materials not directly in Kenyon’s collections. We encourage these and further efforts at increasing access to different information resources for our students, faculty, staff, and community members.


This policy was written by Harry Itagaki, Assoc. Professor of Biology, Kenyon College in September of 1999 in consultation with Jennie Duvernay, Science Librarian.

  • Updated Fall 2002, Jasmine Vaughan, Librarian and Technology Consultant.
  • Updated July 2006, by Chris Gillen, Associate Professor and Chair, Biology Department, and Julia Glynn, Librarian and Technology Consultant, Liaison to the Biology Department.



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