Veterinary Medicine: All Collections Great and Small

Veterinary Medicine: All Collections Great and Small

Esther Carrigan (Texas A&M University, USA), Ana Ugaz (Texas A&M University, USA), Heather K. Moberly (Oklahoma State University, USA), Jessica Page (Ohio State University, USA), Kristine M. Alpi (North Carolina State University, USA) and Carol Vreeland (North Carolina State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1897-8.ch015
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The purpose of this chapter is to present the specifics of veterinary collection development within the context of general health sciences collection development. A basic understanding of the principles of collection development and its processes is assumed. The chapter provides historical background and current information on external forces that impact veterinary collections. It presents important aspects of the veterinary literature and the community of veterinary libraries and explains their impact on veterinary collection development. The chapter provides practical advice and strategies for developing and maintaining veterinary collections. It discusses important trends and future issues in veterinary collection development, including the need for an active advocacy role for veterinary collection librarians.
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With only twenty-eight veterinary schools in the United States, veterinary libraries represent an interesting case study in collection development. Veterinary libraries face many of the same challenges as any other academic or special library, such as space and budget challenges, materials inflation, and the consolidation of publishers, but they also face a special set of challenges in dealing with the nature of the veterinary literature and their small number of geographically dispersed colleague libraries. The strong tradition of cooperation and information sharing among veterinary librarians, both nationally and internationally, serves to mitigate these challenges.

In addition to the typical academic veterinary library collection development context, there are numerous other types of libraries that collect in veterinary medicine. These include academic libraries serving pre-veterinary or biomedical sciences, animal science and equestrian programs, libraries serving veterinary technology training programs in community colleges and universities, zoo and aquarium libraries, and special libraries within drug companies and pet food companies. Professional practice specialty training continues beyond the veterinary school into internship and residency training programs at over 150 veterinary hospitals, most of which are not associated with universities and must also collect in veterinary medicine.

The scope of materials in an academic veterinary medicine collection is strongly influenced by the availability of resources in human medicine, agriculture, and life sciences. The collection must support the professional veterinary curriculum both in the classroom and in the clinical teaching arena. The academic veterinary library collection also often supports veterinary teaching hospitals, state diagnostic laboratories, pathology and parasitology departments, and veterinary and comparative medicine research programs.

This chapter provides an overview of collection development in veterinary medicine in the United States. It builds on standard concepts and operations in collection development to emphasize what is different or special in the context of the veterinary medical literature and the veterinary medical library. It builds on the principles and practices of collection development in health sciences libraries to provide practical advice and strategies relative to collection development for veterinary medicine.

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