Gould Law Library Collection Development Policy


The Gould Law Library’s Collection Development Policy grows out of the Library’s mission to support the Touro Law Center’s student body and its faculty in accomplishing the Law Center’s mission. The Library’s Collection Development Policy aims to do this by providing a collection with the required depth and breadth of resources to support the educational, instructional research, and publication needs of the faculty, students, and staff of the Touro Law Center.  The goals of this policy are:
  • 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.
The Gould Law Library will provide this support to the Law Center’s mission with its Collection Development Policy by achieving the following objectives:
  • 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.
Responsibility for this Policy: Rapid changes in legal publishing as well as changes that may occur at the Law Center will require that the Collection Development Policy be reviewed and revised periodically. The Director of the Library, in collaboration with other librarians, will review this policy on a regular basis and engage with Dean along with other law school administrators and faculty about the collection.
Collection Development Participation:
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.
Selection Criteria:
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
  • Language
  • Available space within the library
  • Research-level works
  • Law faculty requests for purchases
  • Student requests for purchases
Selection tools:
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.
Format selection:
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.

Computerized Resources:
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.

Loose-leaf services:
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.

Audio-Visual Materials:
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.

Cooperative Acquisitions/Interlibrary Loan:
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.
Factors that are considered in determining whether to accept gifts include the value to the collection, the condition of the materials, the affiliation of the donor, and whether the gift will require updating or an additional expenditure of funds to keep it current. Monetary donations are welcomed and can be used to develop the collection in a specific area. All inquiries about gift donations, policies, and procedures should be referred to the Library Director.
The Library sends letters of acknowledgment listing the items in donations, but not valuations.
Weeding and storage:
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:

Subject Areas center around the curricular and scholarly needs of the faculty and students in the school.
Potential purchases, whether it be in a print or electronic format, may be ranked on the IFLA guidelines for collection development management:

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

Comprehensive – Level 4

• Administrative Law
• Alternative Dispute Resolution/Mediation
• Antitrust and Trade Regulation
• Arbitration
• Banking Law
• Business Associations/Corporations
• Civil Procedure
• Civil Rights
• Constitutional Law
• Contracts
• Corporations
• Courts
• Criminal Law and Procedure
• Domestic Relations
• Elder Law
• Environmental Law
• Evidence
• Family Law
• Health Care, Medicine, and Law
• Holocaust
• 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
• Property
• Public Welfare / Social Security
• Racism and the Law / Racial Discrimination
• Securities
• Taxation
• Torts
• Trial Practice and Appellate Advocacy
• Trusts & Estates, Estate Planning; Wills

Research – Level 3

• 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
• Equity
• 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
• Remedies
• State and Local Government Law
• Women and the Law

Instructional Support – Level 2

• 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
• Insurance
• International Business Transactions
• Law & Literature
• Law & Economics
• Legislation/Statutory Construction and Interpretation
• Litigation
• 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)

Basic Information – Level 1

• Accounting
• Agricultural Law
• Canon Law
• Corrections
• Roman Law

Primary Sources by Jurisdiction:

Federal Primary Sources:
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.
Federal Legislative Materials:
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.
Legislative History Research Materials:
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 United States Code Congressional and Administrative News in print from 1952-2012 is on the shelves and thereafter is available through Westlaw.
Federal and Regional Reporters, Court Rules:
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.
Federal Administrative Materials:
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:

New York Statutes and Session Laws:
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.
Hein has New York Session Laws dating back to 1691. In addition, session laws are available on our subscription databases, such as Westlaw, Lexis and Bloomberg.
New York Legislative History Research Materials:
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.
New York Court Decisions & Court Rules:
Court decisions are fully available on our subscription databases as well as many open access online sources (such as Google Scholar).
The Library holds, on microform, New York Court of Appeals Records and Briefs from 1933-2006 and New York Appellate Division Records and Briefs from 1968-1970. Selected Records and Briefs are also available on subscription databases.
Court Rules are available in: McKinney’s Annotated Code (in print, see above); the NYCRR (in print, see below); and the New York Unified Court System Website.
New York Administrative Materials:
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.
NYS Register: The New York State Register is available through our subscription databases. It is available on Hein since its inception.
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.
Agency Decisions: Agency Decisions and agency materials are widely available through our Westlaw, Lexis and Bloomberg Law, as well as on agency websites.
States other than NY – Primary materials: All other States’ legislative and administrative materials, as well as court decisions, are available on Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg.
Counties & Municipalities: The New York City Charter, The New York City Administrative Code, and The Rules of the City of New York, as well as historical versions of the aforementioned materials and various other primary materials are available to different degrees on Westlaw, Lexis and Bloomberg.
Selected codes for counties, towns, villages, and municipalities in New York are available online through General Code’s eCode 360 Library.

Secondary Sources:

Introduction: As with primary sources, secondary sources are becoming increasingly available on our subscription databases (such as Westlaw, Lexis, Hein, and Bloomberg) therefore the Library has chosen not to continue to duplicate this material in print. However, special topics of interest that are not available electronically or are preferable in a print format may still be collected in print. Faculty preference for print materials is a factor that is considered in evaluating print resources.
Dictionaries & Reference Works: Black’s Law Dictionary is collected in print and is available on Westlaw. Ballentine’s Law Dictionary is collected in print and is available on Lexis. Barron’s Law Dictionary is available on Bloomberg. General dictionaries can be accessed through the Credo Reference database, which the Library has access to through Touro College.
Legal Encyclopedias & American Law Reports: American Jurisprudence 2d, American Law Reports, and New York Jurisprudence 2d can be accessed on both Westlaw and Lexis. Corpus Juris Secundum and Carmody Wait can be accessed on Westlaw.
Other Encyclopedias: Selected legal and non-legal subject and general encyclopedias can be accessed on Westlaw, Lexis, Credo Reference, Gale, and various other subscription databases that the Library has access to through Touro College.
Digests, Case Law, and Citators: Case law research is conducted exclusively online through Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg. The Key Number system can be accessed through Westlaw, which simulates the digest system. The Library provides access to KeyCite on Westlaw, Shepard’s on Lexis, and BCite on Bloomberg Law.
Other Reference Works: The Library maintains a print collection of various reference works including Atlases; Quotation Books; Statistics; Bibliographies; Directories and Legal Research Guides. However, these generally will not continue to be updated in print if they can be readily accessed online through our subscription databases and on library and government websites.
Periodical Indexes: The Library provides access to Indices through the following databases: Index to Legal Periodicals through EBSCO; Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals through Hein; Current Index to Legal Periodicals through Westlaw and individually as emails to faculty through SmartCILP.
Legal Periodicals: The Library provides access to current and previous issues of law reviews and journals through Hein’s Law Journal Library, as well as through Lexis and Westlaw. Also, many law review articles can be accessed directly from SSRN and other law schools’ digital archives.
Bar Journals can be accessed through Hein’s Bar Journal Library as well as selectively through Westlaw and Lexis.
The Library will only collect print commercial journals which are reflective of curricular needs and research, if they are not available through our subscription databases. The Library also has access to the databases of Touro College, which are multidisciplinary. Additionally, interlibrary loan is available to obtain articles for faculty and students.
The Library has a print subscription to the New York Law Journal as well as an online site license for the New York Law Journal and the National Law Journal. Both of these law journals are archived and available on Lexis. State bar journals and periodicals are available through our subscription databases.
Other Periodicals: Selected newspapers and newsletters are available on Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg. The library has a print subscription to Newsday and the Wall Street Journal. Many other newspapers are available on Lexis (including the New York Times) and Westlaw. Many general newspapers are available on the databases the Library has access to through Touro College.
Other Selected Materials: Restatements and Model Codes; Uniform laws; Form Books; Hornbooks and Treatises are available on Westlaw and Lexis. Materials published by the American Bar Association, the American Law Institute, and a variety of CLE materials are available on Westlaw and Bloomberg. BNA publications are available on Bloomberg. Historic Law Books are available on Making of Modern Law and Hein. Other general eBooks are available through the EBSCOhost eBook Collection and ProQuest Ebook Central databases.

Government Documents:

Introduction: The Gould Law Library is a member of the Federal Depository Library Program. The Library is responsible for maintaining any government documents sent to us by the Government Publishing Office (GPO). The purpose of the Library’s government document collection is to support the information needs of Touro Law Center’s students and faculty and members of the public.
The Gould Law Library’s primary users are students of the law school and the faculty. The Library is adjacent to Federal and State Courthouses, and members of the community who work in these courthouses are also potential users of the government document collection. These users include lawyers, judges, and alumni.
Scope of Collection: The Library is a selective depository and receives only 16% of all items available. Selection is based upon the community’s informational needs; therefore, most materials tend to be law-related. The materials selected are designed to support the curriculum of the law school and facilitate student and faculty research. The Library maintains cataloging records that link to electronic primary sources, such as the U.S. Code, Public Laws, Code of Federal Regulations, and other legislative and administrative materials. The Library also provides links to electronic government information from the following agencies: the Commerce Department, the Federal Maritime Commission, the FCC, Civil Rights, the Defense Department, Energy, the EPA, Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, Homeland Security, National Archives and Records, Housing and Urban Development, the Justice Department, the Judiciary, the Labor Department, Veteran Affairs, and Trade.
Format: Though electronic format is preferred, the Library continues to receive a number of primary materials in print, such as the U.S. Code, U.S. Reports, and the Code of Federal Regulations, as well as documents from the following agencies: the Energy Department, the EPA, Health and Human Services, the Justice Department, the Judiciary, the Labor Department, the Library of Congress, the Office of the President, the Treasury, and Congress. Most materials are integrated into the Main Collection. Other materials less relevant to the college’s core community are shelved in a separate section and classified by SuDoc.
Retention: The Library holds print materials for the required five years, except when materials are superseded by a new or updated edition; then they are discarded upon receipt of the update. After the required time period, materials are kept at the discretion of the librarians and, if necessary, weeded using FDLP eXchange.
Access: Government publications do not circulate. Print materials are available for use within the Library during Library hours. Visitors (those not part of Touro Law Center Community) who wish to view government documents can do so by contacting the reference office. Reference librarians are available during Library hours to assist those searching for government information. Students and faculty are encouraged to use government information because of its ability to provide free, authoritative information in a variety of formats in many libraries across the United States.

Judaica Collection:

The Judaica Collection in the Law Center Library was established in 1980. The Law Center offers a course on Jewish Law from time to time, and the Judaica Collection supports that class and all of the scholarly activities of the Jewish Law Institute.
The Lillie Goldstein Collection is a traveling Jewish Law collection which can be borrowed by a law school that wishes to offer a course on Jewish law.
We own primary materials in their original languages, mostly Hebrew as well as translations of these into English. We will purchase translations as they have become available and at the suggestion of Professor Levine, Director of the Jewish Law Institute. The library considers requests for materials from faculty, students, The Jewish Law Society, as well as members of the local Jewish Community.
Judaica materials come from the major publishers such as ArtScroll, Ktav, Geffen, Jewish Lights, and Jason Aaronson. The Library also has access to many Judaica databases such as: Bar-Ilan University Responsa; Bibliography of the Hebrew Book; Dafyomi.org; HaTanakh.com; Hebrewbooks.org; RAMBI; and Sefaria.

Miscellaneous Matters:

Study Aids, Reference and Reserve, Office, and Personal Copies. Clinics, Departmental Offices, Law School Archives
Study Aids: Study Aids are currently purchased online and in print. The library will purchase a study aid in print if it is not available electronically and if it is deemed to be of value to students' needs. Requests for study aids come directly from the faculty on their recommended reading lists and from students. Duplicate titles in print are only purchased when a title is extremely popular among our students.
Reserve: The library does maintain a permanent print reserve collection of materials such as treatises, dictionaries, restatements and other publications. However, materials that are available electronically are replacing these materials and may not be duplicated in print.
Reference: The law library does maintain a small collection of ready reference materials adjacent to the reference desk consisting of directories, citation manuals, dictionaries, and other popular sources that legal information librarians use frequently.
Course Reserves: There is a course reserve collection that temporarily holds materials in reserve for students in support of a specific course as requested by a faculty member. Materials are requested by faculty through direct communication with the library staff.
Office Copies: The law library generally does not purchase copies of titles for faculty offices due to expense and the limitations on access. If the cost is reasonable, materials requested for long-term office use are purchased and cataloged for the library collection and checked out to the faculty member interested in the title. If a faculty member requests a personal copy of a book the library will attempt to accommodate the request.
Clinical Programs: Books and materials to support the clinical programs at Touro Law Center are part of our regular collection development process. Upon request, and with the approval of the Director, the law library will purchase a title for a law school departmental office.
Archives: The archives of the law school collect materials produced by and about the law school. The collection includes alumni magazines, course listings, photos, periodicals, yearbooks, etc. Faculty and Alumni writings are digitized on the digital commons and may be placed in the archives if it is deemed necessary to be in the archives because it is outdated or in poor condition. Faculty and alumni writings are integrated into the collection.

Updates to Policy:

This policy will be regularly updated and is not intended to be a static or constant document. Rather, it is intended to be flexible and adaptable as changes come to the law school, the curriculum, and the legal profession. Regular reviews of law school programs, law school curriculum, student needs, and faculty scholarship will require this policy to be updated frequently. It is the intention to have regular input from the Dean, faculty, students, administrators, staff, as well as from librarians to continue to reflect the changing needs of the library and its patrons.
Updated Summer 2020