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Department of Reading

Yu-Hui Chen

I. General Purpose

The objective of the University Libraries is to provide library support for the curricular and research needs of the faculty and students of this department.

Programs of the Department of Reading: The department offers degree programs leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. It also offers a Certificate of Advanced Study in Reading, a post-Master's program.

The M.S. program offers courses of study that lead to various teaching certifications: Literacy Specialist (Birth - Grade 6), (Grades 5 - 12), and (Birth - Grade 12); Early Childhood/Childhood Education (Literacy). The Department also offers two programs collaboratively with the Division of Special Education, leading to certification in both Special Education and Literacy.

The Ph.D. program prepares individuals for faculty and research positions in institutions of higher education and serves those who are preparing for positions requiring a comprehensive understanding of literacy and the ability to conduct research and/or to implement research findings.

The Certificate of Advanced Study prepares students for leadership roles in literacy education including: School Building Administrator (in collaboration with the Department of Educational Administration and Policy Studies), advanced study for classroom or literacy specialists, and expanded clinical expertise.

Coursework includes such topics as: literacy instruction for all educational levels, language acquisition, literacy and society, sociolinguistic and historical perspectives on literacy, literature for reading programs, writing, reading in a second language, literacy difficulties and disabilities, theory and research in teaching writing and literature, psycholinguistics and reading, technology, culture and literacy assessment, and remediation of literacy, as well as organization, supervision, and reform of literacy programs.

II. Subject and Language Modifiers

Languages: The principal language is English; materials in other Western European languages are selectively acquired.

Geographical Areas: Principally United States, but there is interest in other parts of the world as well.

Chronological Periods: No chronological limits, but emphasis is on the 20th and 21st centuries.

III. Description of Materials Collected

Types of Materials Collected: The Libraries collect theoretical and practical materials including all types of monographs, reference materials, periodicals, conference proceedings, all doctoral dissertations presented for degrees granted by the University at Albany, and multimedia materials for which the Libraries have the supporting hardware, such as microforms, CD-ROMs, videocassettes, DVDs, computer software, and sound recordings. The Libraries' electronic collection includes an increasing number of online journals. Access to some electronic titles is purchased by the Libraries; access to others is made freely available via the Internet by educational institutions and professional organizations.

Types of Materials Excluded: The Libraries do not collect school or college textbooks, materials available from the Center for Research Libraries or through other specific resource sharing agreements, collections of previously published articles, or multimedia materials for which the Libraries do not maintain hardware. Books offering popular treatments, dissertations from other universities, and certain formats (including newsletters, loose-leaf materials, and monographs having fewer than 100 pages) are ordinarily excluded, although these may be selectively acquired under special circumstances.

Also excluded except under extraordinary circumstances are paper copies of materials that the University Library received through its standing order for ERIC documents on microfiche from 1966 until mid-2004.

Interdisciplinary Factors: Collecting activity for other programs (Library and Information Science, Linguistics, Psychology, Educational Theory and Practice, Educational Psychology and Statistics, Counseling Psychology, and Educational Administration and Policy Studies) supplements and complements the collecting activity for the programs of this department in areas such as: children's literature, psychology of reading, learning disabilities, literacy, second language learning, special education, educational administration, history of education, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and remedial teaching.

IV. Subject and Collection Levels [Collection Level Descriptions]

The collection levels are defined by the Research Libraries Group (RLG) with designations of 0 (Out of Scope) through 5 (Comprehensive Level - all significant works of recorded knowledge).

For the programs of the Reading Department, the University Libraries collect materials at the Research Level (4), defined by RLG as a collection that supports doctoral and other original research.

Collection Levels by RLG Subject Categories and Corresponding Library of Congress
Classifications for Education (L - LT)

General Education Research Level (4) or Advanced Study or Instructional Support Level (3) for all subjects
History of Education (LA) Research Level (4) for United States
History of Education (LA) Instructional Support Level (3) and Basic Information Levels (2) for other relevant geographic regions
Theory and Practice of Education (LB) Research Level (4) for most of the subjects covered by the LB classifications, including Reading, Educational Administration, Systems of Individual Educators, Educational Research, Teaching Principles and Practice, Educational Psychology, School Law and Legislation, Student Guidance and Counseling, Secondary Education, Teacher Education, Higher Education, and other subjects except those that have to do with Elementary Education
Theory and Practice of Education (LB) Instructional Support Level (3) and Basic Information Level (2) for Elementary Education (except Reading and Educational Administration)
Special Aspects of Education
(LC - LT)
Research Level (4) for subjects such as: Public School Education, Educational Sociology, Community and School, Moral Education, Education of Women (USA), Education of Blacks, Education of Bilingual Minorities, Urban Education, Rural Education, and Adult Education.
Special Aspects of Education
(LC - LT)
Instructional Support Level (3) and Basic Information Level (2) for other subjects in this category, such as: Preschool, School Architecture, School Health, School Life, Education of Women (and other identified groups) in geographical areas other than the USA, Curriculum Guides and Courses of Study, and Audiovisual Materials.
Special Aspects of Education
(LC - LT)
In some other areas examined (textbooks and instructional materials, tests and assessment instruments, children's books, games, simulations, ans toys), the Library either collects at the minimal level (1) or doesn't collect at all (0, out of scope).

Support provided by the materials collected for other programs mentioned above in the section entitled "Interdisciplinary Factors" is found in Library of Congress classifications other than the L classifications (Education). The collection development policy statements for those subject areas provide information on collection goals and strengths for those programs.

Because of its diversified subject content, the ERIC document collection on microfiche (1966 - 2004) provides support in most subject areas related to Education. ERIC's plans for a new system of distribution of ERIC documents according to information announced on the ERIC Document Reproduction Service Web site on June 24, 2004 are as follows:

"On October 1, 2004, ERIC will introduce, for the first time, free-of-charge full-text non-journal ERIC resources. These materials include more than 105,000 full-text documents authorized for electronic ERIC distribution during 1993 - July 2004 [...]. EDRS, which also sells the ERIC microfiche, is scheduled to shut down operations on September 30, 2004. In December, ERIC will add new bibliographic records and full-text journal and non-journal resources from 2004. Newly indexed materials that are not available free-of-charge will be made accessible through database links to commercial sources. ERIC will continue to add features and enhancements in 2005."

V. Other Significant Collections and Resource Sharing

In addition to their own holdings, the University Libraries make outside resources available to the students and faculty of the Department of Educational Theory and Practice. This is done through memberships in library consortia that were established to facilitate sharing of various resources, interlibrary loan arrangements, and electronic access. All types of resource sharing have become increasingly important as libraries have had to change their collecting patterns in response to burgeoning publishing output vis-à-vis fiscal realities.

Memberships in Library Consortia: The University Libraries maintain a membership in the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), a consortium of North American universities, colleges, and independent research libraries. The consortium acquires and preserves traditional and digital resources for research and teaching and makes them available to member institutions through interlibrary loan and electronic delivery. CRL collects and provides rapid access to expensive and unusual materials that are not used often enough to warrant purchase by individual libraries.

CRL owns numerous relevant microform sets and reprint collections comprising historical holdings that contain useful research material for the history of education. These collections include courses of study for Grades K-12 from 19th and 20th century America; primary, secondary, and some post-secondary U.S. textbooks dating from the 18th century; and materials from the underground and alternative press (international in scope, though principally U.S. and British).

The Center attempts to provide comprehensive access to doctoral dissertations written for institutions outside the USA and Canada. CRL holds over 500 newspaper titles published in the U.S. since the mid-19th century, primarily for specific ethnic groups. The Center has holdings of hundreds of ethnic titles and maintains current subscriptions to more than 50 of these titles in addition to about 60 general circulation domestic newspapers. Some of the newspaper holdings are in their original formats and some are held as microfilm. The above description is not exhaustive. More detailed descriptions of CRL's collections and policies may be found on its Web site.

Resource Sharing Agreements: The four University Centers of the SUNY system (Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, and Stony Brook) along with Syracuse University have established Empire Express to facilitate interlibrary loans. Students and faculty of the University at Albany also have open on-site access to the collections of most of the research libraries in the Capital Region, including the New York State Library.

Electronic Access to Information and Resources: The University Libraries provide access to online bibliographic databases focused on Education and Psychology, such as: Education Full Text, ERIC, and PsycINFO, as well as many multidisciplinary databases that include literature on topics related to education. The research guide ELECTRONIC RESOURCES FOR EDUCATION: HOW TO FIND JOURNAL LITERATURE presents a list of relevant databases with annotations and links to these and other electronic indexes and databases.

Other information needs may be filled via the Internet electronic communication links on the Libraries' Web site. Subject pages for Education and Psychology, created and maintained by the Education and Psychology Bibliographers, facilitate faculty and student access to many useful Internet resources.

VI. Notes

The selector responsible for this collection is the Bibliographer for Education.

Approval Plans, Standing Orders, and Memberships: Some core materials to support the programs of this department are acquired through an approval and notification plan with Blackwell North America to provide English language materials from the US and the UK using subject profiles and relevant non-subject parameters as selection criteria. This plan alone would not be adequate to provide the materials needed for the programs and research needs of this department, so titles requested by faculty members and titles selected by the Education Bibliographer from other sources are also ordered to maintain necessary coverage.

Standing orders and memberships in professional organizations supplement the above means of acquisition in order to obtain serial publications and parts of sets as soon as they are published. The institution of new standing orders was curtailed in the 1980's and 1990's and some of the existing standing orders were cut during this period, however, certain materials are still received this way as well as through memberships in professional associations, such as the International Reading Association and the United Kingdom Reading Association.

In the 1980's and 1990's it was not possible to continue to build the collections at the same level as during the 1960's and 1970's because of fiscal restrictions, cutbacks on acquisitions, and escalating costs for library materials that have often exceeded the rate of overall monetary inflation. The strength of the periodical collection was affected more than that of the book collection as a consequence of steeply rising prices. Recently, however, many additional journals have been made available in electronic format via the Internet. Along with this capability and various resource sharing arrangements, the Libraries are able to provide almost all of the research materials sought by faculty and students in this department.

Because of fiscal conditions outlined above, the institution of new subscriptions to periodicals in traditional print format has been rare since 1980. Additionally, subscriptions started in the 1970's and earlier were cut back in the 1980's and 1990's. The University Libraries have found and continue to seek various ways to overcome the problems posed by this situation, e.g. reliance on interlibrary loan and other resource sharing arrangements described above, purchase of microfilm backfiles of periodicals indexed by both Current Index to Journals in Education and Education Index, and the provision of access to electronic journals by way of the Internet.

Selection Responsibilities for Overlapping Subject Areas: Negotiations between the Education Bibliographer and other bibliographers for areas of overlap have been virtually unnecessary for the needs of this department. The two bibliographers serving as liaisons with the School of Education collaborate and cooperate with each other regarding overlaps created by changes and shifts in curricular and degree programs offered by the School of Education.

Interactive Media Center: The Interactive Media Center is separately funded. Bibliographers' and faculty members' requests for non-interactive media are funded through ordinary program-based annual allocations.

Revised September 2004

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