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Collection Development @ SJSU Library

Collection Development Policy - Special Education

Last Updated: 2018

Programs Supported

Materials are selected to support the undergraduate and graduate programs as well as four credentials: Mild to Moderate Disabilities, Moderate to Severe Disabilities, Early Childhood Special Education, and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The Department of Special Education at San José State University offers Education Specialist (teaching) Credential programs for individuals who want to teach students and young children with disabilities. The department also offer a Masters of Arts in Education with an Emphasis in Special Education and the opportunity for undergraduate students to receive a Minor in Special Education.

The Department of Special Education has defined eight critical program learning outcomes (PLOs) that students should expect to achieve by the completion of their masters (MA) degree.  The PLOs are the following:

  1. Graduates assess and identify the educational needs and strengths of students with disabilities.
  2. Graduates critically evaluate pedagogy, curricula, and instructional materials based on evidence-based practices for students with disabilities.
  3. Graduates utilize assessment data to plan and deliver specially designed instruction for students with disabilities.
  4. Graduates develop Individual Education Programs (IEP), Individual Family Service Plans (IFSP), and individual Transition Plans (ITP) with educational team members to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
  5. Graduates align instruction with general education curricula and/or preschool foundations in the Individual Education Program, Individual Family Service Plan, and/or Individual Transition Plan.
  6. Graduates integrate cultural and familial perspective into all aspects of instruction, including assessment and intervention.
  7. Graduates collaborate with general educators, parents, and relevant stakeholders.
  8. Graduates demonstrate knowledge about research-based practices related to individuals with disabilities, birth to 22 years.

Existing Resources

The University Library serves as the main resource for this subject area. It contains books, journals, reference materials, media, and databases relevant to the students and faculty in the Department of Special Education whose primary focus is on education for children in grades K-12 who are in one or more of the following categories: autism, blindness, deafness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impaired, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment. 

In the seventh floor and Lower Level Educational Resource Center, the Library houses the Learning Resources Display Center (LRDC), sponsored by the California Department of Education. The LRDC is a cooperative endeavor between San Jose State University and the Santa Clara County Office of Education.  It contains K-8 print and non-print instructional materials adopted by the State of California. The Library also houses a collection of historical children’s literature in the Lower Level and current children’s and young adult literature to support special education in the Children's Room on the first floor.


The Special Education liaison works in tandem with the other education liaisons and with the Psychology liaison; other liaisons are consulted as necessary.  One liaison is a voting member of the College of Education Curriculum Committee, a committee comprised of one representative from each of the eight departments, college leadership and others.  Membership on this committee allows proactive participation in changing the curriculum, offering new courses and obtaining new resources necessary to support the College of Education.

There is little overlap in the collections purchased to support the Special Education curriculum. This indicates that coordinated collection development in this subject area should not be a major concern.

San Jose State University students, faculty, and staff have access to the print collections of the other 22 California State University libraries through CSU+, a resource-sharing system, giving SJSU patrons access to over 29 million books.

Materials Collected

Materials are purchased in the format that most effectively delivers the information needed by the discipline. 

Collection Strengths

The strength of the special education collection is the growing number of electronic resources, such as full-text databases, online journals, and e-books available to support this department's programs. 

The collection strongly supports professional credential programs such as the Mild to Moderate Disabilities, Moderate to Severe Disabilities, Early Childhood Special Education, and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Some of the resources used by Special Education faculty and students are shared with other disciplines such as the following databases: Education Research Complete, Education Full Text, and PsycINFO & CINAHL Complete, the latter two of which fall under the umbrella of Academic Search Complete.

Evaluation of Collection

According to Academic Senate Library Policy S15-10, periodic evaluations of the print collection are required to maintain the high quality of the academic collection, with the primary goals of improving the effectiveness of browsing and providing space for new acquisitions. The objectives include relocating materials, and weeding duplicate materials and materials that support discontinued programs or are no longer relevant for current programs. Evaluation of the secondary education collection involves not only print materials but sound recordings and other media as well.

Resources for the Special Education collection are selected after consulting with the Special Education faculty whose focus in research and university teaching is on identifying forms of learning for students with exceptional needs, such as students with learning disabilities or mental challenges. 

Recommendations from the faculty and students are the first priority. The ALA EBSS listserv, dedicated to education and social science librarians, and the databases, Choice Reviews and Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD) are other sources of recommended library resources in addition to online resources from national organizations supporting Special Education teachers.

Further development of the secondary education collection includes:

  • Increasing the number of e-books that provide unlimited concurrent access.
  • Evaluating books on secondary education that are maintained in the 2nd Floor Reference Collection.
  • Identifying materials to support a growing emphasis on cultural diversity in the classroom for students' and faculty's research needs.