Gould Law Library Collection Development Policy
- To support the mission of Touro Law School
- To provide a structure for selection of new materials and to establish procedures for ongoing evaluation and improvement of the current collection to ensure that the collection complies with or exceeds the standards for law school libraries established by the American Bar Association’s Standard 606 and the Association of American Law Schools’ executive committee regulations for law libraries, Library Governance 6-8.
- To document the current collection philosophies, policies and practices for the law library.
- To provide guidance to all those involved in developing the collection.
- To inform the faculty, staff, administrators and students of the collection emphases and criteria for evaluating new materials and formats.
- To provide guidance for deselecting materials.
- Using the latest technology to provide reliable access to information resources;
- Selecting and maintaining materials that are best suited for faculty and student instructional and research and publication needs;
- Providing online bibliographic access to information resources; and
- Evaluating and improving the current collection.
All professional librarians are encouraged to participate in the process of collection development by making suggestions or by reviewing proposed purchases. Faculty members may be consulted about potential purchases in their fields, and the Library honors their specific requests whenever possible. Student requests are honored so long as overall selection criteria are met.
Numerous factors influence the decision of whether to acquire new material, including in no particular order:
- Subject area, including importance to the collection and importance to the law school curriculum, program emphases, and faculty/student scholarship
- Currency of the resource and frequency of updates
- Authoritativeness of the publisher or producer and title
- Importance/reputation of the author
- Accuracy of the information and data based on reviews, recommendations, evaluations, etc.
- Current and/or permanent value to the collection
- Likelihood of use by faculty and students
- Scarcity of material on the subject
- Format, including the availability of material or information in subscription databases, free internet resources and print
- Duplication of material in our collection and elsewhere in the Touro College Libraries
- Cost, including initial purchase price and maintenance costs for continuation/updating, equipment, and staff time
- Available space within the library
- Research-level works
- Law faculty requests for purchases
- Student requests for purchases
Selection tools include but are not limited to publishers’ RSS feeds, blogs, email notifications, and print catalogs and brochures, and various listservs. Book reviews from a variety of law-related, library, and general publications are also included in the process. The Library participates in the NELLCO Consortium, and subscribes to several package plans. Faculty, staff, and student requests are considered, as are Inter-Library loan requests.
The Library is now giving highest priority to electronic access for materials whenever possible while recognizing that certain materials are only available or preferred in print. In general, the Library will not duplicate materials that are easily accessible electronically. Considerations for online databases include file formats, permanence, updating and maintenance procedures, training and usability, authentication, customer support, and licensing, as well as price.
A significant portion of the Library collection previously was on microfilm and microfiche including Congressional materials, New York State and Federal Legislative history materials, selected records and briefs of the United States Supreme Court, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and New York State, the Pre-NRS State Reports, historic English reports, administrative materials, Law Books Recommended for Libraries, archival materials from various legal organizations such as the ABA, and legal periodicals. The existing collection of microform is currently still accessible although we are no longer adding to it, as the materials are available through one of our subscription databases.
Currently, the Library is giving highest priority to electronic access for materials. Going forward, the majority of the Library collection will be accessible through our subscription databases, such as Lexis, Westlaw, Hein, and Bloomberg.
All current and past issues of law reviews and bar journals can be accessed through our subscription databases.
The Library has traditionally subscribed to a variety of loose-leaf services in support of curricular and research needs of the Law Center. The Library now reviews loose-leaf subscriptions’ availability on a subscription database before making the decision to purchase loose-leaf publications in print format.
Traditionally print monographs comprised a significant portion of the Library’s collection and standing orders were maintained for certain types of books. However, those monographs will only be purchased in print if they cannot be easily accessed through one of our subscription databases, including EBSCOhost eBook Collection and ProQuest Ebook Central. Exceptions may be made upon faculty or student request. The Library no longer maintains casebooks and required texts on reserve and does not purchase them for the collection.
The Library has a modest audio-visual collection. The Library usually purchases AV materials upon request from the faculty.
Duplication within the collection will be avoided. Many resources, both primary and secondary, are increasingly available on Westlaw, Lexis, Bloomberg, Hein, and the Internet. New and supplemental print materials which duplicate electronically available materials will only be purchased under special circumstances, upon request.
The Library is part of several consortia. NELLCO, the New England Law Library Consortium, is a collection development and resource sharing network for law libraries. (The Law Center is an affiliate member). LILRC, the Long Island Library Resources Council, is one of New York’s Reference and Research Library Resources Systems that are major sources for resource sharing. Through our parent institution, Touro College, Law Center students and faculty have access to METRO, the Metropolitan New York Library Council, which includes all types of libraries in the New York metropolitan area. Interlibrary Loan is intended to complement collection efforts, not to replace them, and with this understanding, the Law Library subscribes to traditional resource-sharing agreements such as OCLC.
The Library accepts gifts of materials appropriate to the general needs of the collection provided no consideration is required by the donor. The Library accepts donations on a case by case basis for materials that fit within our collection guidelines. The Library reserves the right to keep, donate, or discard gifts. Donations of duplicate runs of legal materials are discouraged.
The Library weeds materials from the collection which are non-current or superseded. Also, surplus copies of works no longer in demand for supplemental use are discarded. The librarians are committed to building a current and historic scholarly legal research collection in print and electronic formats. The collection development process involves decisions not only about what to acquire but also what to retain, withdraw or move from active areas of the collection to storage. The print collection is continually reviewed to decide what can be withdrawn or relocated to reflect changes in institutional goals or programs, availability in electronic formats, usage, space limitations, increasing cost, duplication, obsolescence, and the condition of materials.
Subject Areas in the Collection:
4 – Comprehensive Level – subject collections intended to be exhaustive or very extensive
3 – Research Level – extensive collections supportive of independent and scholarly research, including, but not limited to specialized treatises, periodicals, as well as specialized reference works
2 – Study or Instructional Support Level – fundamental works adequate to support the basic curriculum, but not intensive research
1 – Basic Information Level – general works
• Administrative Law
• Alternative Dispute Resolution/Mediation
• Antitrust and Trade Regulation
• Banking Law
• Business Associations/Corporations
• Civil Procedure
• Civil Rights
• Constitutional Law
• Criminal Law and Procedure
• Domestic Relations
• Elder Law
• Environmental Law
• Family Law
• Health Care, Medicine, and Law
• Human Rights
• Immigration Law
• Intellectual Property (& Computer Law, Copyright, Internet, Patents, Trademarks)
• Jewish Law and Judaica
• Judiciary and Judicial Administration
• Labor Relations
• Land Use, Zoning, Eminent Domain
• Law Librarianship
• Legal Education
• Legal History
• Legal Profession
• Legal Research and Writing
• Native Americans and the Law (New York)
• New York Law
• Professional Responsibility, Legal Ethics
• Public Welfare / Social Security
• Racism and the Law / Racial Discrimination
• Trial Practice and Appellate Advocacy
• Trusts & Estates, Estate Planning; Wills
• Abortion Law
• Admiralty and Maritime Law
• Bankruptcy/Creditor’s Rights
• Biography, Legal
• Commercial Law
• Communications Law
• Comparative Law
• Conflicts of Laws
• Consumer Law
• Disability Law
• Education Law
• Election Law
• Employment & Employment Discrimination Law
• Entertainment and Sports Law
• Foreign & International Law (special emphasis: Britain, China, Germany, India, Russia)
• Gender & Law
• Housing and Housing Discrimination
• Jurisprudence (& Philosophy of Law & Legal Theory)
• Juvenile Law and Juvenile Justice
• Law & Technology
• Law Office Management
• Mental Health Law
• Native Americans and the Law
• Natural Resources
• Not-for-Profit Organizations
• Prisons and Prisoners’ rights
• Products Liability
• Poverty Law
• State and Local Government Law
• Women and the Law
• Air and Space Law
• Animal Rights
• Art Law
• Children’s Rights
• Construction Law
• Criminal Justice
• Energy and Public Utilities Law
• Food, Drug & Cosmetics Law
• Foreign Relations
• Government Contracts
• Historic Preservation
• International Business Transactions
• Law & Literature
• Law & Economics
• Legislation/Statutory Construction and Interpretation
• Local Government and Municipal Law
• Media Law
• Military Law
• Real Estate & Real Estate Transactions
• Religion and the Law (not including Jewish Law - see heading above)
• Agricultural Law
• Canon Law
• Roman Law
Primary Sources by Jurisdiction:
The following section details at least one access point in the Library (either through one of our subscription databases or in print) for every major primary source. Many of these primary sources are additionally available on one or more of our subscription databases. Because most primary sources are available through these databases, as well as free online through government and educational websites (such as govinfo.gov, congress.gov, and law.cornell.edu), the Library has largely chosen not to duplicate those resources in print. The Library also receives certain primary materials in print through our participation in the Federal Depository Library Program.
The Library collects and maintains one print copy of the current edition of the United States Code and the United States Code Annotated. All superseded editions of the United States Code are available on Hein. Superseded editions of the USCA are available on Westlaw, beginning in 1990- current. Editions of the United States Code Service are available on Lexis, from 1992-current.
The United States Constitution can be found in the official and unofficial versions of the United States Code. The Library collects one full set of Statutes at Large in print which are also available on subscription databases.
The Congressional Record is available on Hein in both the Bound Edition (1873-2014) and the Daily Edition (1980-current). It is also available on other subscription databases.
Compiled federal legislative histories from GPO and private publishers are available on Hein. A wide variety of other legislative history materials are available throughout our subscription databases (such as historical federal bills, CRS reports, US Congressional Serial Set, Committee Prints), as well as through government websites.
The Library collects and maintains in print, the United States Reports. The Library no longer collects the other Federal Reporters and Regional Reporters as court decisions are fully available on subscription databases as well as many open access online sources (such as Google Scholar).
Court Rules can be accessed through Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law as well as through individual courts’ websites.
The Library maintains one current complete set of the Code of Federal Regulations in print. The Library’s subscription to Hein contains all previous versions of the CFR since its inception, as well as all full-text issues of the Federal Register since its inception.
Hein also provides access to the complete collection of decisions of many of the Federal Agencies. Agency Decisions and other agency materials are also readily available on agency websites. Hein also provides Attorney General Opinions.
Administrative materials are available through Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg.
Hein’s U.S. Treaties and Agreements Library include all in-force as well as expired U.S. treaties. The Library’s subscription to Hein also includes the World Treaty Library and some treaties are available on our subscription databases.
New York Primary Sources:
The Library collects and maintains one print copy of the current edition of McKinney's Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated. Current and superseded editions of McKinney’s Annotated Code are available on Westlaw, beginning in 1987. Editions of the New York Consolidated Laws Service are available on Lexis, from 1992-current.
Bill Jackets are available on the NYS Archives website beginning in 1995 and this is continually being updated to include future bill jackets. Older bill jackets can be accessed in microform at the NYS Library in Albany as well as from the NYS Legislative Retrieval System. Some bill jackets and legislative materials such as memoranda, and bill text summaries are available on subscription databases as well as the NYS legislature websites.
Court decisions are fully available on our subscription databases as well as many open access online sources (such as Google Scholar).
NYCRR: The Library collects and maintains one print copy of the current Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the Date of New York (NYCRR); it is also available in our subscription databases.
Attorney General Reports: Attorney General Reports are available on Hein from beginning of reported opinions beginning in 1890 and are updated continuously; They are also available on our subscription databases.
Selected codes for counties, towns, villages, and municipalities in New York are available online through General Code’s eCode 360 Library.
Bar Journals can be accessed through Hein’s Bar Journal Library as well as selectively through Westlaw and Lexis.