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Education Resource Area: ERA Collections Policy

Located in the Salem State University library (2nd floor). ERA provides resources and services to support education programs at Salem State University. The collection includes curriculum, lesson planning, assessment, educational research books and kits.

Education Resource Area Collections Policy

Salem State University

Frederick E. Berry Library Education Resources

Collection Development Policy

The Childhood Education & Care Librarian and the Secondary & Higher Education Librarian are the primary authors of the Education Resource Area (ERA) collections.  The Education Librarians are responsible for periodically reviewing, revising the policy and collaborating with colleagues on related matters.

Purposes of Education Resources and Collections

The primary purpose of the Education Resource Area at the Frederick E. Berry Library at Salem State University is to support curricular and research needs of faculty and students in School of Education programs and majors. The Education Resource Area education collections and materials may also serve as resources for area teachers, students and community library users, as appropriate to and in compliance with related library policies, local and regional network and consortium agreements and subscription and licensing requirements.  

The following types of materials and resources are collected:

  • Books and E-Books for professional educators covering the history and philosophy of education, research studies and best practices.

  • Books and E-Books that suggest lesson plans in various content areas.

  • Reference books  such as subject encyclopedias, handbooks, critical and biographical compilations and selection guides.

  • Print periodicals of interest to professional educators.

  • Print periodicals related to instruction with P-12 students.

  • Children’s and young adults literature: fiction and nonfiction, including: big books, picture books, global resources, folk and fairy tales, plays and leveled readers. 

  • Children’s literature acquired through the SELECT program.  

  • Award-winning children’s literature titles in national, state, and regional categories.

  • Media, including DVDs, related to teaching and learning.

  • Test preparation books such as GRE, SAT, TOEFL, MTEL

  • Achievement and aptitude tests related to Salem State education courses.

Online subscription articles and databases

  • Online periodicals are provided through subscriptions to online databases. The library subscribes to subject-specific databases for professional educators and also to online databases for use by P-12 students working independently or with guidance.

  • The library maintains an account with LibGuides, a Web 2.0 management software application, enabling creation and customization of subject and course specific guides.  Education LibGuides include information about library resources and provide links to hundreds of internet sites.  


Selecting and Evaluating Materials

The Childhood Education & Care Librarian and the Secondary & Higher Education  Librarian bears primary responsibility for collection development, with faculty departmental liaisons participating as valued partners.  Departmental liaisons solicit faculty recommendations and forward them to the librarian.  The librarian makes additional, independent recommendations, using reviews in standard tools, including periodicals such as the Horn Book Guide, School Library Journal, Choice, and databases such as the Book Index with Reviews and NoveList Plus, as well as online and print catalogs.  The Education Librarians consider the American Library Association’s Guidelines for Curriculum Materials Centers for collection development decisions, may consult librarians who manage similar education resources at other institutions and may also seek input from personnel at local schools.

Selection emphasizes formats and categories of materials needed by Salem State students and faculty in courses and programs and for research.  An effort is made to acquire items that reflect democratic values, goals and objectives that foster respect for a variety of teaching and learning philosophies and strategies, demonstrating a commitment to serving diverse populations of learners in a range of environments.  Diversity is defined to encompass: age, learning styles, ability challenges, ethnic backgrounds, cultural or religious traditions and beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, and family, social and economic factors. 

The Childhood Education & Care Librarian and the Secondary & Higher Education  Librarian bears primary responsibility for periodic assessment of resources, including regular review of websites included in online guides.  The Education Librarians contribute to program area decisions concerning the selection of serials and electronic resources. The Education Librarians consults with departmental liaisons regarding items considered for cancellation.  School of Education faculty collaborate with the Education Librarians to develop strategies that expand faculty participation in assessment.

Assessment activities include the identification of strengths and weaknesses or gaps in collections and the establishment of priorities for acquisition, particularly for new curricular demands and in the context of budget constraints.  Criteria for items that may be deaccessioned include: publication date; historical value; curricular needs; frequency of circulation; physical condition; cost-effectiveness of replacement; availability in alternate formats.  Print information resources that become available online at comparable cost may not be updated or replaced in print format.

The frequency of acquiring or updating certain categories of materials and priorities assigned for acquisitions may be revised, to meet evolving curricular needs and to adapt to budgetary allowances.  However, the following guidelines are generally observed:

  • Collected annually: books for professional educators; children’s literature acquired through the SELECT program; lesson planning materials; major award-winning children’s literature; media

  • Renewed annually: print and online periodicals (through subscriptions) 

  • Collected every three years: leveled readers; big books; picture books, test preparation materials

  • Collected irregularly: reference books; educational tests and measures

Updated by J. Soohoo and R. Ryder, Education Librarians  May 2020