Skip to Content
Skip to Search
Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content

University of Connecticut University Libraries

Collection Development and Access Plan:
Spanish Section
Modern and Classical Languages Department

Prepared by Darlene Hull, 1/10/2001. DRAFT for review by the Spanish Section of the Modern & Classical Languages Department.


The purpose of this Collection Development and Access Plan is threefold. First, it is a tool for the Library to become better informed of the information and data needs of academic programs on campus. Second, it will outline how existing local collections, networked electronic services, and document delivery services are being utilized to meet the bibliographic needs of these programs. Third, it is hoped that this plan will provide the faculty and the library staff a base for dialog concerning future information needs and areas for cooperation. This plan follows the broad guidelines established in Ownership and Access in a Global Information Market: A Framework for the University of Connecticut Libraries, issued by the Chancellor's Library Advisory Committee in March 1999.


  • Spanish section:
  1. Characteristics of the Community
  2. Collections Budget Expenditure Patterns (1999-2000)
  3. Current Patterns of Information Service
  4. Emerging Choices

I. Characteristics of the Community

Graduate Studies: The Spanish Department offers work through the Ph.D. degree. Students explore a wide range of topics in Spanish and Spanish American literature integrated into the study of literary theory. The Department also prepares graduates for language teaching positions through training in language teaching theory, techniques, and practices.

MCL Graduate majors (masters & doctoral): 30 (Fall 2000) ; Spanish majors: 13
Enrollment for upper division literature/research courses: 79 (Spring 2001)

Undergraduate Studies: A major in Spanish studies consists of twenty-four 200-level credits in the Section, and an additional twelve 200-level credits of related courses. Spanish courses are divided into two main groups: A) Literature, and B) Language and Culture. At least 4 courses must be taken from the Literature group, and 3 from the Language-Culture group. Students may also prepare an individualized program of study by combining courses from Spanish with two or more departments such as Business, Social Work, Latin American Studies, Public Health, etc. Courses are also offered for teacher professional preparation.

Undergraduate enrollment, Storrs (Spring 2001): 570 ; Regional campus total: 97 (No courses over 100 level are offered at the regional campuses.)

The Spanish Department is also involved in two cross-curriculum projects: the Spanning Program & Linkage through Language (3 courses listed for LTL Spanish for Spring 2000 - 1 in Latin American Studies; 2 in Anthropology).

In it's May 1997 Self-Study, the Department of Modern & Classical Languages identified a strong commitment to retain and strengthen, through the Ph.D. level, the current language programs (Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Classics) as well as to strengthen the Critical Languages Program, and increase emphasis on cultural studies and interdisciplinary curriculum. Improved training for TAs is also highlighted including plans to increase emphasis on pedagogical methods and the latest developments in cultural studies and literary theory.

Full time faculty: 8 (1 Hartford); undergraduate majors: 31 (1998); master & doctoral: 30+

Note: Given the current uncertain state of the future of Portuguese Studies in the Department, there is not explicit reference to it in this narrative. However, historically, the Library has supported study in Portuguese language and literature in the same manner described above for Spanish. The Library will continue to support Portuguese at an appropriate level relevant to the MCL department's emphasis on and support for the same.

Faculty and students in the languages and literature disciplines rely heavily on physical access to texts and information resources in the Library for the period of their course work and dissertation writing. Additionally, study in languages and literature relies on access to both current source materials and a large quantity of retrospective material. Remote access to indexing, abstracting, and full-text sources is becoming increasingly important.

II. Collections Budget Expenditure Patterns (1999-2000)

Spanish (HUSLIT): $16,000.00 annually base budget - (including Latin American, Spanish-speaking Caribbean, and Peninsular.)

Typical breakdown: Monographs $13,000.00 (including videos); Journals $3000.00 (including continuations, both paper and electronic)

Networked Services:
Electronic indexing, abstracting, and full-text services purchased by the Library's Networked Services budget which primarily (or in some cases significantly) support research in Spanish include: MLA (Modern Language Association Bibliography), Arts & Humanities Search, Humanities Abstracts, Academic Universe, JSTOR, Project Muse, Gale Contemporary Authors, Language & Linguistics Behavior Abstracts, Arts & Humanities Citation Index (Web of Science), HAPI (Hispanic American Periodicals Index) and WorldCat.

III. Current Patterns of Information Service

A. Special Characteristics of the Literature

Research in the field of Spanish literature (including all genres) relies primarily on primary literary works in monograph format. Additionally, monographs and journal literature to support the study of literary criticism and literary theory are essential to faculty and graduate student research. Only a small portion of both editions of primary literary works and literary criticism lose value over time. New critical editions of literary works are produced with frequency.

Print runs in both Spain and Latin America are getting shorter. The distribution mechanisms in many Latin American & Caribbean countries and Spain often do not provide much needed information on book content or significance of author. However, this has been improving little by little, particularly among Latin American & Caribbean vendors.

Decreasing numbers of critical and historical works are being published in both Spain and Latin America. More regional publishing is occurring, particularly in Spain, while most publishing continues to come out of the major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. Many Latin American & Caribbean countries suffer drops or increases in book production and sales depending on the political and economic situation of any given year or decade. Additionally, the structure of Latin American book markets is far behind that of the U.S. making it often difficult to easily secure desired materials.

Translation of literary works is becoming more important to the field of Spanish as well as to the teaching interests of the department. Many U.S. publishers are now producing works either originally or simultaneously in English and Spanish. Several publishing houses have been established specifically to publish bilingual editions of major and important works to make these more accessible to U.S. readers.

U.S. University press publishing on Spanish literature is decreasing as it is for many humanities areas.

B. Collection Development

  1. Areas of Focus

    The Spanish Department currently supports doctoral work in all aspects of literature of Spain, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Within this extensive arena, acquisitions have always been selective and have been strongly influenced by the interests and persistence of incumbent faculty.

  2. Acquisition Strategies
    1. Monographs

      Monographic purchases focus on Spanish language materials acquired through book vendors in Spain and Latin America as well as from major U.S. domestic academic and university presses. English language items are also acquired for criticism and translations of major works. Works of literature are emphasized.

      The following sources are relied upon for selection:

    2. Yankee Book Peddler Approval/Slip Plan. YBP covers all university press and most trade publishing produced or actively distributed in the U.S. Publishers who refuse to discount to YBP, or produce less than 5 titles per year, are not covered. A full list of covered publishers is available on the Library's web page:
    3. Latin American & Caribbean approval plans and dealer's catalogs (which are reviewed regularly)
    4. Mexico - Books From Mexico (Approval Plan)
    5. Central America - Libros de Vientos Tropicals
    6. Peru - Iturriaga (Lima)
    7. Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela - Editorial Inca (Bolivia)
    8. Brazil - (2) -- Susan Bach & Livro Atlantis
    9. Chile - Herta Berenguer (Santiago)
    10. Argentina - Linardi/Risso (Montevideo) (Approval Plan)
    11. Uruguay/Paraguay - Linardi/Risso
    12. Puerto Rico / Dominican Republic - Libros de Barlovento (San Juan)
    13. Cuba - (2) - Luis Retta (Uruguay) & Gavilanes Books (New Orleans)
    14. English-speaking Caribbean and Haiti -- Alan Moss (Barbados)
    15. Spain
    16. A quarterly catalog of new publications from Iberbook, our Spanish vendor.
      Additional ordering is generated from faculty recommendations and investigating the previous publications of specific authors.

      Regarding shorter print runs in both Latin America & Spain, we need to more quickly make decisions on collecting new authors. Although the department still seems to focus its teaching on established authors, the reading and research interests of faculty and graduate students are fairly broad. A jointly compiled list (between department faculty and the Library) delineating most important authors to collect would facilitate collection building. Additionally, given the decreased inventory carried by publishers, and our recognition that both instructors and the topics of instruction change, we have typically bought more books in more areas of Spanish than the needs of instructional support have required. At the same time, we have had to be selective. In some areas not actively taught, acquisitions emphasize key anthologies.

      English and Spanish language texts by Latino authors in the U.S. are also collected. Emphasis is given to the work of Latino writers of Caribbean ancestry.

    17. Journals

      Journals purchasing will also focus on both Spanish and English language materials. New journal subscriptions in Spanish are generally ordered pursuant to a faculty or student request. In order to consider titles from for-profit publishers known for rapidly increasing the subscription costs of their titles (e.g., Gordon & Breech), we require justification, or evidence of demand from our document delivery statistics. The journals budget for Spanish is not as dire as for other disciplines. Hence, a few carefully chosen new journals could be added. This might best be done in context of an overall evaluation of the continued worth and comparative significance of journals we are currently receiving.

    C. Access Development

    1. Acquisition Strategies: Indexes and abstracts
      In order to assist Spanish researchers to locate the research materials they need, the Library will use a combination of local collections, licensed electronic products, subject and program-based web links, current awareness services, and document delivery and interlibrary loan. The current compliment of general electronic indexing, abstracting, full-text services, and current awareness services as well as those specific to Modern & Classical Languages (and Spanish) (see section Current Library Expenditures, Networked Services) provided by the Library seems sufficient to meet this objective.

      As a reminder, the library replaced the print version of MLA Bibliography in favor of distributed access via the electronic version exclusively. The Library will monitor the potential threat of commercial or even avaricious society (e.g., MLA) pricing gouging in this area, as well as in journals pricing, and make informed decisions regarding which provider to subscribe with based on such factors as price, service, contract requirements, and consortial agreements.

    2. Acquisition Strategies: Electronic journals and texts
      The library expects many of our journal subscriptions will be exclusively electronic in the coming years. In Language & Literature, however, concern about the permanency or archival access may outweigh the virtues of distributed access. At present we would consider relying exclusively on electronic provision from only a small number of not-for-profit suppliers, like JSTOR, which only offers backfiles, or Project Muse, from which we already get several titles that we do not duplicate in paper. Despite the planned expansion of both Project Muse and JSTOR, only a minority of language and literature journals (and even to a lesser extent those for foreign language and literature study) are likely to be electronically accessible in the near future. However, electronic journals can be hot linked to web based indexes like MLA and Web of Science and they are also accessible to our users outside the library. Additionally, the Library's electronic journal locator, eCompass, facilitates the identification of specific e-journal titles "owned" by the Library (i.e., accessible via the University internet domain, "".)

      Electronic texts are currently most attractive where users are many and dispersed. Electronic reserve and the virtual classroom are currently limited by copyright to the reproduction of small segments of monographs. While initial publisher offerings of electronic texts have largely reproduced print, the current trend seems to be toward providing value-added interactive functioning.

    3. Acquisition Strategies: Other Internet resources
      Many projects are underway to make primary literary texts available on the web including hyperlinks and in-context analysis. We will monitor the availability and value of fee-based resources in this area. The Spanish liaison maintains a web page for Spanish resources that provides a starting place for students and faculty seeking local and international web resources of various sorts and promotes locally licensed electronic resources. This page is part of the Libraries' web site. The Spanish liaison is open to suggestions for the improvement of this page and is willing to set up specific links to resources being used in connection with local courses. Review this page at:

    4. Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan
      DD/ILL is an integral part of all our collection development and access plans. DD/ILL data is actively considered in relation to both journal purchase decisions and collection budget planning.

    5. Significant Campus or External Resources
      The Libraries of the Latin American Studies Consortium of New England (LASCNE)
      (Brown, UConn, UMass, Yale) have a long standing agreement for cooperative on-site use and borrowing privileges. Faculty and students engaged in the study of Latin American & Caribbean literature & languages can take advantage of these privileges. Details concerning the reciprocal agreement and application procedures, as well as selective holdings at the 4 schools, are available at: /services/bysubject/consort.htm.

    IV. Emerging Choices

    Electronic Texts and Reference Works
    The Library is beginning to purchase some reference works such as dictionaries, lexicons, etc. and historic literary works in interactive form on CD. Many of these products allow users to perform in-context analysis. Acquisition of e-texts is made in response to requests by faculty or graduate students who plan to engage in the kinds of research that sophisticated mark-up makes possible. However, we must also remain cognizant that most of these products are currently produced on windows based platforms that are very difficult to network and often employ less than state-of-the-art software. Additionally, we will need to closely monitor expenditures in this area so not to seriously encroach on the monograph's budgets.

    Electronic Journals
    While there are some emerging electronic journals for literature and languages, we will probably need to continue to rely heavily on document delivery to supplement our print subscriptions. Networked indexing and abstracting sources such as MLA Bibliography, makes it easier for faculty and students to identify needed materials. As we have already done in the recent past, we may need to continue to make choices to rely exclusively on electronic versions of some journals.

    The use of film (video or DVD format) in course curriculum is increasing in several of the language sections. We might want to consider some priorities across the department and a level of expenditure that will not cut too deeply into book or journal budgets.

    Monographs Budget
    In the field of Spanish, which relies more heavily on monographs than journal literature, we will continue to rely heavily on local collections. We are currently buying both in English and Spanish. We will need to closely monitor expenditures on non-book materials, such as videos and digital data, as they encroach on the monograph's budgets.

    The future of collecting to support Spanish in a changing information economy
    The library anticipates both continuing inflation in the unit cost of print and electronic publications, and expanding demand for new products and services. We do not expect the University to solve this problem by increasing our share of its limited resources. We hope for a continuation of our current level of support, but cannot regard it as guaranteed. Increasingly though, measures of user behavior: circulation by classification and patron affiliation; database use; and ILL/document delivery activity; will play a role in budget decision-making.

    The significant evolution in collection development and access patterns requires enhanced communication between library staff and the faculty and students they serve. Ongoing dialogue will help ensure that the best choices are being made and that users are knowledgeable about emerging kinds of library resources in terms of access and intelligent use and the risks involved in some of these choices. The Library Liaison Program will continue to be the primary vehicle for this kind of contact.

    Return to Top