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Department of Communication

D. LaFond, Bibliographer

I. General Purpose

Communication is a study of the discipline which creates, generates, and transfers a message. It involves all aspects of human interaction, but especially in the interpersonal, intercultural, political and organizational contexts. The general purpose of the University Libraries' collection is intended to support curriculum and research needs for the Department of Communication.

The department offers a B.A. in rhetoric, a B.A. in communication, and an M.A. in communication. The Ph.D. is offered jointly with the Sociology Department. Communication is a primary field within the Doctor of Arts in the Humanities program. The emphasis for undergraduate and graduate studies is on theory and research in the fields of public, political, interpersonal/intercultural and organizational communication. Both levels, undergraduate and graduate, focus upon the social scientific, primarily qualitative, study of communication through analysis of communication systems, processes and effects.

II. Subject and Language Modifiers

Language: English is the major language of the collection.

Geographical Areas: The collection of material for the disciplines of rhetoric and of communication (verbal and nonverbal) is not restricted by any geographical boundaries or any nationalities.

Chronological Periods: Main concentrations include: rhetoric, argument, persuasion, discourse and communication of the twentieth century.

III. Description of Materials Collected

Types of Materials Collected: The collection consists primarily of monographs and serials. It also includes publications relevant to this field of study: government documents, proceedings and papers from national and international congresses and conferences, newsletters and publications of selected organizations and societies, politically relevant videocassettes of broadcasts. Material is collected in both printed format and on microform. Reference material includes indexes (paper), electronic indexes and abstracts, and bibliographies. Dissertations and handbooks are acquired upon request from faculty.

Periodicals: It is important to emphasize that the field of communication is extremely dynamic and subject to continuous updates and evaluations resulting from the character of human behavior and human interaction. The bulk of the collection acquisitions must, therefore, focus on up-to-date material, i.e. upon periodicals, as the expression of the most current form of publication.

Types of Materials Excluded: No support is given to textbooks in general communication, although textbooks for technical aspects of telecommunication may be purchased selectively and upon requests from faculty.

Interdisciplinary Factors: The field of rhetoric and communication comprises other contributing disciplines: psychology, anthropology, business, marketing, management, political science, information science, sociology, and philosophy of language (linguistics). Every effort is made to work cooperatively with subject bibliographers in those respective disciplines.

IV. Subject and Collection Levels [Collection Level Descriptions]

These levels are clearly defined by the RLG Conspectus. Excluding foreign language definitions the ascribed levels reflect current acquisition decisions at SUNY-Albany.

Rhetoric Instructional Support Level
Communication Instructional Support Level
Theory and criticism Instructional Support Level
Empirical studies Instructional Support Level
Political Communication Instructional Support Level, Advanced
Social Psychology Research Level
Verbal and nonverbal Instructional Support Level
Telecommunications Minimal Level

V. Other Significant Collections and Resource Sharing

The Interactive Media Center houses interactive media of interest to communication students. No other libraries in the area support the Communication program.

VI. Internal Notes

The approval plan offers very sparse coverage for communication. In the next year (1997-1998), this plan will be restructured in an attempt to insure that the plan includes cross-disciplinary titles pertinent to communication. There is some overlap in the purchasing of CSPAN tapes with the Department of Political Science. Some cooperation is recommended with the bibliographer of that area. The library received a donation of $10,000 for Communication studies materials. Purchases will be made in consultation with Communication faculty.

August 1997

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