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Collection Development @ SJSU Library

Collection Development Policy - Africana, Asian American, Chicano & Native American Studies Center

Last Updated: 2018

The Africana, Asian American, Chicano, & Native American Studies Center is made up of four collections located on the fifth floor of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. These collections — AfricanaAsian AmericanChicano, and Native American Studies — support academic programs and classes at SJSU, and each collection is supported by its respective Resource Center Advisory Committee. In addition, the Center houses a Comparative Comparative Ethnic Studies collection and a Reference collection.  

The intent of these collections and space is to accomplish the following:

  • To create a nurturing academic support center for students.
  • To encourage the development of information literacy skills to help students become lifelong learners who can access, evaluate, and effectively use all library resources.
  • To foster in students a deeper understanding of and pride in their respective cultures and an appreciation and understanding of other cultures.
  • To give all SJSU students a greater appreciation and understanding of the history and culture of the Africana, Asian American, Chicano, and Native American communities.
  • To provide a collection of comparative multicultural resources to facilitate research between cultures.
  • To work collaboratively with their respective communities in San José to create programming and fundraising opportunities.

Programs Supported

In addition to supporting the general studies and research on the U.S. race/ethnic population the 5 collections support various academic areas within all of the SJSU colleges. Materials cover an array of areas that address the U.S. race/ethnic experience like immigration, language, economics, politics, etc. 

Existing Resources

The University Library serves as the University’s main resource for this subject.  Materials for the Africana, Asian American, Chicano & Native American Studies Center (AAACNA) benefit from all subject areas. Some materials/topics can overlap among the humanities and social sciences disciplines but the specialization of the each area which seeks to provide coverage of a research area rather than based on a topic allows this interdisciplinary collection to enhance the general collection as a whole. 


The interdisciplinary nature of the Center's collections makes coordination with other liaisons vital for sufficient coverage. The humanities departments, including literature, art, music, sociology, and history and of course Chicana & Chicano studies, African American studies, Sociology & Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (houses Asian American Studies), and History and Anthropology are especially diligent in purchasing materials about the U.S. Race/Ethnic experience.

Materials Collected

The materials collected for these collections are board. Given their interdisciplinary nature topics range from the social sciences, humanities, education, and health.  The research areas for these topics are primarily U.S. based but are not limited.

Africana: While the focus is on the U.S. African American/ Black experience materials from Africa are also included.  The U.S. experience areas are wide ranging. For example: History, Music, Literature, Social Sciences, Education, Sports, and current and historical events. Materials that are non U.S. related are primarily events that have an impact on the U.S. experience.   

Asian American: Focus on primarily on the U.S. experience but could include some Asian based materials. The U.S. experience areas are wide ranging. For example: History, Music, Literature, Social Sciences, Education, Sports, and current and historical events. Materials that are non U.S. related are primarily events that have an impact on the U.S. experience.   

Chicano: Focus is on the U.S. experience primarily on the Chicano/Mexican American/Mexican experience but also includes the larger Latino U.S. experience.  History, Music, Literature, Social Sciences, Education, Sports, and current and historical events are areas of selection. Materials that are non U.S. related are primarily events that have an impact on the U.S. experience like Immigration, Politics, and Culture.

Native American: Focus is primarily U.S. west of the Mississippi. Historical and current events. Areas of selection is board. 

Comparative Ethnic Studies:  From the descriptions above materials must be inclusive of two or move ethnic groups.  

Collection Strengths

Indexes to the literature (print and electronic) and depth of coverage in the AAACNA Reference Collection, with its subject encyclopedias, demographic works, and handbooks.  In 2008 with the GOBI Approval Plan more U.S. ethnic materials have been added to the Library collection.  This benefited the African American Studies area tremendously given the profile of the plan. In 2017, collections area were given an open budget for materials. Materials purchased for the 2017-2018 academic year, more than doubled, as other liaisons were also not restricted by their purchasing and allow for greater interdisciplinary requests. 

Evaluation of Collection 

Monthly or quarterly reviews of the collection is preformed by the librarian. 

Native American: The Native American studies Collection was formally inaugurated in 2016. In 2018 a donation of books was added to the collection.

African American: In 2007 a major donation to the Africana Center collection from a faculty member was accepted in the area of African history. In 2008 a review of the Africana Center collection was performed. In 2009 the library subscribed to the African American Experience database – this subscription is for 6 years.  In 2006, one of the future objectives documented was to collect in the areas of slave narratives, black women’s fiction, and history of African Americans in California. As of 2009, these areas have all been developed significantly.  Slave narratives materials have been developed by books along with the subscription of the Africana American Experience database.  

Chicano: In 2008 the collection was weeded. In 2018 duplicates were removed. 

Asian American: In 2018 the Asian language materials were reviewed and weeded.