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WGSS Collection Development Resources:
Checklist to Evaluate
Women and Gender Studies Collections


WGSS Collection Development Resources | ACRL Women and Gender Studies Section Home Page

This checklist is a basic guide to assist in planning an evaluation.

See the University of Arizona's Women's Studies Collection Evaluation for an example of an evaluation.

Scope of the evaluation:

What are the subject boundaries for the assessment? For example, the Library of Congress HQ's? Are there other subject areas (literature, sciences, arts, for example) that should be evaluated?

What formats will be evaluated? Monographs? Serials? Microformats? Electronic?

What publication period are you examining? Are you evaluating the retrospective collection, or your current collecting?

What other staff, if any, will be involved in the assessment? Other subject librarians? Faculty from the department?

What method(s) will be used for the assessment?

Methods of assessment:

See Cumulative Approach to Collection Evaluation, by Graeme Oke and Brian Tyrrell, from Victoria University of Technology, Werribee Campus. This is not specific to Women's Studies, but provides a useful overview of the pros and cons of various assessment methods.

Selected resources for retrospective collection development and evaluation:

Choice Reviews in Women's Studies, 1990-96, edited by  Helen MacLam.  Chicago : Association of College and Research Libraries, 1996.
Includes more than 2,000 reviews of women's studies titles in the areas of general reference, the humanities, science and technology, the social and behavioral sciences.

Women and gender studies librarians have developed an excellent series of extensive interdisciplinary bibliographies specific to women and gender studies. The following texts are broad in scope, and cover English language titles in the humanities and the social, natural, and health sciences (the 2004 edition also includes sources specific to gender and technology). Sources listed include reference works, monographs, and core periodicals (the 2004 edition also lists Web resources).

Women's Studies: A Recommended Bibliography, by Linda A. Krikos and Cindy Ingold.   Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.
The most recent update in the series covers titles published between 1986 and 1999.

Women's Studies: A Recommended Core Bibliography, 1980-1985, by Catherine R. Loeb, Susan E. Searing, Esther F. Stineman.   Littleton, Colo. : Libraries Unlimited, 1987.
The second update in the series covers titles published between 1980 and 1985.

Women's Studies: A Recommended Core Bibliography, by Esther F. Stineman, with assistance from Catherine R. Loeb.   Littleton, Colo. : Libraries Unlimited, 1979.
This text includes titles published through mid-1979.

Selected resources for assessing periodical titles:

Compare the titles held by your institution to those indexed in a major WGS indexing service: Women's Studies International or Women Studies Abstracts are good choices for assessing your holdings of major, scholarly periodical titles.

Core List of Journals for Women and Gender Studies
Developed and maintained by members of the ACRL Women and Gender Studies Section, this annotated list includes titles which "...provide a foundation for study and research from a feminist perspective." The list provides a brief description of each journal, as well as bibliographic and indexing information. Titles are suitable for academic library collections.

Selected resources for assessing current titles in women and gender studies:

Women's Studies: Core Books
Developed and maintained by members of the Association of College and Research Libraries' Women & Gender Studies Section, this Web resource is a database of core book titles covering more than forty subject areas (such as, among others, feminist theory, lesbian studies, and transnational feminism). This resource is updated annually.

ACRL/WGSS: Women and Gender Studies Review Sources
Provides links to selected sources for reviews (some full-text and some only excerpts) of women and gender studies books, with links to a few general-purpose book review Web sites.

You may also choose to compare your WGS collection to another library's WGS collection. To do this, be sure to find an institution with a comparable program. The following may help identify libraries that would have similar collections.

Women's Studies Programs, Departments and Research Centers
Maintained by Joan Korenman (UMBC).

Women's Studies Programs, and Campus Women's Centers, in the US
Compiled and maintained by Gerri Gribi.

WGSS Collection Development Resources | ACRL Women and Gender Studies Section Home Page

Last updated: May 1, 2007 by Sharon Ladenson, Michigan State University Libraries
Based on a checklist by Thura Mack
Submitted to WSS Collection Development committee August 5, 1998
Original revision: December 19, 2000 by Cynthia A. Johnson

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Send comments about the WGSS website to: Carrie Dunham-LaGree.
URL: http://www.libr.org/wgss/committees/collections/checklist.html
Last updated: June 30, 2016
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Back to the WSS Home Page.
Send comments about the WSS website to:
URL: http://www.libr.org/wgss/committees/collections.html
Last updated: June 30, 2016
Copyright Statement