Policy Last Updated: October 1, 2009

Subject: Arabic


The Collection Development policy is a used as a guide to shape relevant collections and to ensure consistency in collection development. The decision to purchase library materials is primarily the responsibility of the collections librarian in consultation with faculty in the Department.

This policy has been developed by Joanne Oud, the Languages and Literatures Librarian, in cooperation with Abderrahman Beggar, the Arabic program’s Library Liaison.


The primary focus of the collection is to support undergraduate teaching, study and research up to the third year in Arabic language, literature, culture and civilization. Currently, courses in Arabic language are taught. However, the program is new and additional courses in Arab language, literature and civilization are planned. Highest priority is given to materials that support student language learning, and then materials on Arabic literature and civilization. Some preference is given to materials that also support the Mediterranean Studies program.

The collection also supports, on a selective basis, individual faculty research interests in Arabic language, literature and culture.


  • Language: English language is preferred. Works in Arabic and Arabic dialects or French translations of important works are selectively purchased.
  • Chronological Period: no special limitations, though the contemporary period is emphasized.
  • Dates of Publication: emphasis is placed on recently published works.
  • Geographical Areas: primarily North Africa and the Middle East, but important works on Arabic language, literature and culture anywhere in the world may also be collected.

Types, formats, and readership of materials collected

  • Readership: Materials with academic-level readership are emphasized
  • Format: Web format is preferred for reference sources, language resources (e.g. dictionaries), journals and indexes.
  • Multiple copies: Single copies are usually purchased. Books or other items that are either expensive or of specialized interest/limited use are usually only purchased if not available at the University of Guelph or Waterloo.
  • Books: print formats are usually purchased. Web-based formats may also be selected, especially if the title is of interest to users at multiple Laurier campuses.
  • Types of materials not purchased: textbooks, abridgements, study aids, limited editions, works by vanity presses, juvenile works, pamphlets, and partial contents (eg. single issues of journals, electronic versions of single chapters of books). Reprints are purchased selectively.

Subjects collected and collecting priorities

Collecting priorities are categorized into 3 levels:

A - highest emphasis
The collection includes major published materials required to support the core teaching and research at the highest degree level offered by the Department.
B - secondary emphasis
The collection includes a selection of materials to complement the discipline as a whole, although it may not be a primary focus for courses.
C - selective emphasis
Materials, including reference materials and basic journals and indexes are collected to introduce and define an area.
Subjects collected Classification Collecting priority
Language and literature PJ6001 - 8157 A
Arab world (especially North Africa, Middle East)   A
Modern Arabic language study   A
General linguistics (in English)   B
Comparative literature (if emphasis is on Arab literature)   B
Arab culture and civilization (all periods)   A
Art N6260-6270 A
Architecture NA6136 A
Cinema (Arab countries)   A
Cinema (diaspora)   A
North Africa   A
Maghreb - civilization and intellectual life DT192 A
Middle East - civilization and intellectual life   A
Arab diaspora - transnational identities and intellectual life, Europe   A
Arab diaspora - transnational identities and intellectual life, North America   A
Social history of the Arab world   A
Social history of the Arab diasporas   A

Related programs and support

Related materials on Arab culture are also purchased in support of programs such as Film Studies, Global Studies, Political Science, History, and Mediterranean Studies.

Laurier is the only local university that offers an Arabic program. However, the Universities of Guelph and Waterloo do have some Arabic culture collections that complement those at the Laurier Library. Their collections are available to Laurier students and faculty through the shared Primo Library catalogue.