Communication Library Support
The Boston College Libraries began a major effort in 2004 to
enhance library support for the Communication
Department, which is now the largest undergraduate department
at BC with more than a thousand students. The effort began with
the hiring of a new Communication Librarian, Ken
Liss, dedicated solely to the department and charged with:
expanding and improving the Communication collection; providing
research and teaching support; and developing other services for
faculty and students to reflect the growth of the major.
Here is a Subject Area Highlight on some of the collections work
that Ken has been involved in since his appointment:
During the summer and early fall, a major effort was made to
enhance the Libraries' collection of communication journals. As
of this fall, the Boston College Libraries have, in print or electronic
form, 80% of those journals identified as essential by Boston
College faculty and by authors of textbooks on communication research.
Subscriptions to additional journals will begin with the 2005
Also this fall, the Libraries added two key new communication
databases - Communication
Abstracts and Communication
& Mass Media Complete - to the electronic offerings available
for the Boston College Community. These databases significantly
enhance research access to the communication literature and integration
with both the Libraries' print collections and with electronic
and print resources in related disciplines (i.e psychology, sociology,
gender studies, political science, etc.).
The Libraries' growing communication monograph collections are
on a par with those at leading graduate programs at other institutions.
A survey conducted this fall compared recent titles in the areas
of Communication & Mass Media, Rhetoric & Discourse Analysis,
Interpersonal Communication, and Broadcasting in the collections
of Boston College, Wake Forest University, and the University
of Delaware. There were significant differences in the individual
titles collected by each library (possibly reflecting variations
in curriculum and research interests of their faculty), but in
scale and scope Boston College matched well with the other institutions.
Enhancements to the journal collections and electronic databases
put into effect this year will ensure these library resources
are in place to support the research needs of Communication faculty
and students. Ongoing pressures on book purchasing budgets, which
are being felt in all disciplines due to the growing need for
electronic resources and rapid increases in journal prices, may
require additional support to ensure that the monograph collection
remains strong. But as 2004 comes to an end, this growing academic
department is well-supported by the collections and services in
the BC Libraries.