To read this content please select one of the options below:

Department-specific collection assessment

Xiaocan Wang (Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, Missouri, USA)
Jie Huang (Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA)

Collection and Curation

ISSN: 2514-9326

Article publication date: 23 August 2019

Issue publication date: 23 August 2019




The purpose of this paper is to introduce the pilot project of collection assessment performed by an academic library for the Computer Information Science (CIS) Department specifically and share the experience involved in this assessment.


In this descriptive research, the library gathered and analyzed a set of evaluation reports for CIS-related print and electronic materials. This assessment includes analyses of physical items, periodicals, electronic resources, peers’ databases, faculty syllabi, as well as departmental allocation fund.


This project shows the importance of collaboration between the library and academic departments on collection evaluation and assessment. It demonstrates that the assessments of a department-specific collection can provide the library with insights into the quality of the collection and help librarians better understand the information requirements of the faculty and students in the department. By analyzing the data collected in the assessment, the library can spend the tight budget on the most needed core materials related to the curriculum and research of the department. This project provides a good example for future routine assessments.

Practical implications

The procedure, results and future work of this assessment provide other academic libraries with insights into and practical solutions to department-specific collection assessments.


The study describes a set of collection assessment activities specific to a disciplinary department undertaken by Spiva Library. Few studies have been conducted to study department-specific collection assessments. This type of study can assist a university library to develop a core collection in support of teaching, learning and research for individual academic departments.



Wang, X. and Huang, J. (2019), "Department-specific collection assessment", Collection and Curation, Vol. 39 No. 1, pp. 22-30.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles