Collection Development Policy
The MGH IHP Community Health Collection ● 2013
The IHP Community Health Collection was founded in 2012 with materials inherited from a previous Massachusetts Prevention Resource Center. As of 2013, It has over 1300 items including 837 monographs, 246 curricula, 86 kits, 67 DVDs/Videos, and 130 visual aids.
Building 36 4th Floor
MGH Institute of Health Professions
Charlestown Navy Yard
36 First Avenue
Boston, MA 02129
Director of the Library and Instructional Design
This policy is intended to be used by library staff as a set of guidelines for selection of new materials and evaluation of current materials in the Community Health Collection. It will also inform users, stakeholders, and community members of the selection criteria used to develop the library’s holdings, as well as what resources they may expect to find and why. This policy is supplemental to the IHP Library collection development policy. It will be reviewed annually and revised as needed.
The library’s primary users are the students, faculty and staff of the Institute. Additional users include affiliates from Massachusetts General Hospital, Partners Healthcare, the Charlestown community, and the greater Boston community. The collection is open to the public, with borrowing privileges granted to Massachusetts residents. The majority of users external to the Institute will be community health educators and nurses.
The library supports a number of academic degree and certificate programs within the School of Nursing, the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and the Center for Interprofessional Studies and Innovation (CIPSI) at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. The academic programs are:
School of Nursing
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Center for Interprofessional Studies and Innovation (CIPSI)
The library resources serve these programs by collecting educational materials and resources that can be used to promote good health practices among clients, patients, families and community-aggregate populations, in fulfillment of assignments, academic endeavors, or professional responsibilities. Resources support health promotion from the program planning to implementation through to the evaluation stage.
The current focus of the collection is on Community Health, which combines aspects of public health, human anatomy and physiology, education, ethics, psychology, and more. Priority is placed on items that will help students and health care professionals increase health literacy and provide patient education. Emphasis is on recently published materials, however some resource types (e.g. anatomical models) are not dependent on publication year for their value. Generally geographic origin is not considered when evaluating materials, with the exception of resources specific to the state of Massachusetts, which may be collected more comprehensively. While a variety of categories and subjects are considered for development (see Appendix I), the library’s current focus is on the following subjects: nutrition, fitness, dementia, fall prevention, hypertension, and diabetes.
A variety of resource types will be collected by the library including monographs and school curricula of print and electronic formats; audiovisual materials; two dimensional visual resources such as posters; three dimensional realia such as anatomical models and multimodal kits. The library also collects resources in the form of student submissions from the NS 521 class. Materials will be collected at all reading levels including juvenile resources. The library will not collect textbooks.
Materials will primarily be collected in English, but additional languages will be supported, including (but not limited to): Spanish, French, Chinese, Portuguese and Vietnamese. These are the most commonly spoken languages in Boston other than English according to 2010 census data found in the 2012-2013 Health of Boston report from the Boston Public Health Commission. The terms Spanish, French and Portuguese all include use of associated Creole languages.
Proposed gifts of library materials are subject to acceptance by library staff, who will evaluate the items in terms of institutional value, considering whether materials support the collection development policy for that subject area. When the Library accepts a gift, it becomes the property of the MGH IHP Library, which reserves the right to determine whether the gift will be retained, where it will be located, and how it will be cataloged and circulated. Materials not retained will be offered to other libraries, foreign and domestic, or sold in library book sales or to book dealers. Sale proceeds are used to purchase library materials.
Due to our relationship with the Treadwell Library at the Massachusetts General Hospital, the IHP Community Health Library will not collect materials that are available through Treadwell, unless specific materials are considered vital for the use of patrons who do not have access to Treadwell’s resources.
All materials are collected at a depth of level 2 as defined by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Section on Acquisition and Collection Development:
2 Basic Information Level
Collections that serve to introduce and define a subject, to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere, and to support the needs of general library users through the first two years of college instruction include:
The collection should be frequently and systematically reviewed for currency of information. Superseded editions and titles containing outdated information should be withdrawn. Classic or standard retrospective materials may be retained.
The Community Health Collection uses a unique classification system based on topics in community health and disease prevention. Please see Appendix I for the complete list of categories and subjects currently held by the library. Categories that are not currently being collected are denoted as such.
The size of the collection is small enough that the collection can be evaluated on a resource by resource basis. This may change in the future and updates to the policy will reflect that change. The librarians will use a number of quantitative and qualitative indicators to evaluate and, if necessary, weed the collection.
Those measures include:
Age of materials
User feedback and suggestions
Condition of materials
Evaluation will ideally be done once a year with an emphasis on discarding extraneous materials and identifying coverage gaps.
Any resources removed from the collection may be donated if an appropriate recipient is identified. Other options for discards include a library giveaway/sale, or disposal.
The categories and subjects of the collection are as follows:
Alcohol and other drugs
Children of alcoholics
Teaching cultural humility
Alcohol and Drugs
Death and dying
Alcohol and drugs
Suicide and depression
Parenting and Families
Child and infant care
Child and infant rearing
Fires and fire prevention
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender health
Sexually transmitted diseases
After school programs
Violence and violence prevention
Youth development (no longer being developed)