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DataBank: How to Map Collections to Academic Units

What Does it Mean to Map Library Collections?

To map a collection means asking: Which coded characteristics in the cataloging record will find the greatest number and most relevant resources that support the research and teaching of a given subject field?


It also means ignoring overlap. Unlike budget analysis, wherein one cannot count and allocate more funds than are available, collection analysis can allow for double counting. We can say that we subscribe to the Journal of Gender and Development to support the work of scholars in Gender Studies, Political Science, and Economics. (Just don't aggregate it all together.)


Interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity, electronic resources, and outdated but in-use classification systems all make collection assessment a tremendously more complex and difficult task. There is a great need to cast a wider net to measure Library support for contemporary fields of study. The act of mapping collections to academic departments is the best first step to making this endeavor possible.