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Collection Policies

Collection Policies by Subject

Social Work



Subjects covered :  Social work direct practice; social welfare administration; human behavior and the social environment;  human diversity for social work; social welfare policy and services (institutions and programs); social policy analysis; social work practice (with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities); research in social work; child and family services; health and gerontology; mental health 

Quantitative information and users served :  The School of Social Work has 13 faculty members, 8 adjunct and visiting faculty members, 229 undergraduates, and 355 graduate students.   In addition to students and faculty in the School of Social Work, the social work collection is also used by students and faculty in sociology, psychology, criminal justice, women's studies, education, political science, nursing, health sciences and law.  Students and faculty in University College's Social Services Technology Program as well as those in the social work programs at Mount Saint Joseph College, Northern Kentucky University and Xavier University also use the collection.  Local social service agencies use the collection as well.

Degrees :    Bachelor of Social Work 
                  Master of Social Work

Special programs :   MSW/JD
                                 School Social Work


Location of collection :   Langsam Library 

Other  collections supporting program :

Internal (Langsam Library):  Sociology, psychology, criminal justice, women's studies, education, and political science; as well as the nursing, medical and law libraries of UC.

External:  Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County and OhioLINK

Collection history :  While material of interest to social work had always been added to the libraries' collections, collecting for social work became more focused in the 1970's and early 1980's.  An undergraduate social work program and a graduate program in social welfare administration were included as part of the College of Community Services which was established in 1969.  The college was dissolved in 1981 and the School of Social Work became an independent academic unit.

General level of collecting :  Level 3 (instructional) & Level 4 (research) 


Call numbers :  Primarily HV1-HV5840; relevant titles within the RC321-954 range; other call numbers as appropriate, particularly those in the social sciences with a social work perspective.

Current and retrospective collecting :  Current materials are primarily acquired.  Exceptions include the purchase of back runs of serial titles; replacement of selected retrospective titles if  the libraries' copies are damaged or have been  declared lost; and, some retrospective titles which are considered classics or are needed for research. 

Time period collected :  19th century to the present.

Level & treatment :  Materials are collected primarily at the upper undergraduate, graduate, and research levels.  Selected upper level textbooks are added if relevant to the program.  Selected professional and clinical books are added as appropriate.

Languages :  English language material is added to the collection. 

Geographical areas :  Predominantly, United States; selected Canadian and European (particularly British) to provide a historical and comparative perspective. . 

Types of resources :   Books, journals and government documents.

Resource formats (including electronic) :  Many books, journals and government documents are in paper format although availability in electronic format is increasing.  Social Work Abstracts, Socindex, and Sociological Abstracts are the major indexing/abstracting services for social work. Video is another major resource format for social work.


Endowed areas :  In addition to receiving UC general funds, some additional funding is occasionally made available from the Weber fund which is an endowed/restricted fund.


Approval plan :   Many social work monographs are received through an approval plan vendor.  This plan supplies monographs from many of the major publishers based on a  profile established by the library to cover relevant subject and non-subject parameters.  Books received on this plan are reviewed before they are added to the Libraries' collection.


Firm orders :  Firm orders are placed for individually selected titles through the libraries' Acquisitions Department.  These are selected based on (1) notification slips received from vendors, (2) book review sources (3) publishers catalogs and new title announcements, and (4) requests from social work faculty and students. 

Standing orders :  Standing orders and subscriptions are placed for relevant titles that are published on a regular basis such as annual publications and journals.

Charles Kishman 
September 2009

University of Cincinnati Libraries

PO Box 210033 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0033

Phone: 513-556-1424

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