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Communication Studies

Policy Last Updated: September 1, 2012


The Collection Development policy is 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 Deborah Wills, the Collections Librarian, in cooperation with and endorsed by Greig de Peuter, Faculty Library Liaison and Penelope Ironstone, Department Chair.


To support teaching, study and research up to the Honours B.A. and M.A. programs. There are three main areas of concentration:

  1. Communication History and Theory
  2. Visual Communication
  3. Global Communication and Media

Generally, materials in the area of the practice of journalism, public speaking and sociolinguistics are not collected. Materials for Communication Studies are supported by collections in other disciplines, such as English and Film Studies, Anthropology, Political Science, Sociology and Psychology.

The collection contributes significantly to the Honours B.A. program in Cultural Studies, which has a broad focus on text, image and sound, and to the M.A. in Film Studies. It also contributes some material for the Honours B.A. in the Global Studies program, committed to the understanding of intercultural encounters, and to the Honours B.A. in North American Studies, offered in combination with another Honours B.A. program.


  • Language: Works written in English are preferred. Translations into English of major texts are selected.
  • Place of Publication: Priority is given to materials published in North America and Europe. English-language texts from other regions are also considered.
  • Dates of Publication: Emphasis is placed on recently published works.
  • Chronological Period: Time periods studied range from prehistory to the present, with emphasis on the contemporary period.
  • Geographical Areas: Materials relating to both western and non-western cultures are collected.
  • Publishers: Academic, scholarly and university publishers are emphasized. Popular trade publishers specializing in communication material are considered.

Types, formats, and readership of materials collected 

  • Materials with academic-level readership are emphasized.
  • Web-based formats for reference sources, journals and indexing sources are preferred. Print and microform are considered for reason of cost, availability, expected use or long-term access.
  • Single copies of books in print formats are generally selected. Web-based formats are selected on a title by title basis, especially if the title is of interest to users at multiple Laurier campuses. Duplication of print across Laurier campuses is generally avoided.
  • Excluded types include textbooks, abridgements, study aids, limited editions, works by vanity presses, writings aimed at a juvenile audience, reprints and partial contents (eg. single issues of journals, electronic versions of single chapters of books). Generally, non-scholarly publications, such as popular magazines, are avoided unless used as primary sources of study.
  • Theses, dissertations, symposia, conference proceedings and audiovisual media are collected with a high degree of selectivity.

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 priorities
Intercultural Communication GN 496 A
Political Economy and Communication HC 79 A
Satellites in Telecommunications HE 9719 B
Radio & Television Broadcasting HE 8689 – HE 8700.9 C
Cultural Studies HM 101 B
Communication & Society HM 258 A
Propaganda HM 263 B
Mass Media & Society HN 90 M3 A
Political Communication JA 85 - JA 85.2 A
Visual Literacy LB 1068 A
Music & Communication ML 3470 B
Popular Music ML 3469 – ML 3541 B
Art & Communication N 71 – N 72 B
Art & Popular Culture N 7429.5 B
Art & technology NX 180 T4 B
Visual Culture NX 458 – NX 549 A
Communication and Mass Media P 87 - P 95 A
Visual Communication P 93.5 A
International Communication P 96 A
Semiotics P 99 B
Nonverbal Communication P 118 B
Literacy & Communication P 211 B
Discourse Analysis P 301 – P 302 A
Translating & Interpreting P 306 – P 310 A
Connotation P 325.5 A
Rhetoric PN 173 – PN 175 C
Broadcasting (radio and television) PN 1990 – PN 1992.95 B
Film & Communication PN 1995.9 B
Journalism PN 4699- PN 5650 C
Computers and Society QA 76.9 C66 B
Satellite Technology TK 5101 – TK 5104 C
Internet Technology TK 5105 C
Radio Technology TK 6540 – TK 6571.5 C
Television Technology TK 6630 – TK 6720 C
Photography & Communication TR 15 – TR 183 B
Photojournalism TR 820 B
Cinematography TR 845 – TR 899.5 C
Printing and Communication Z 278 A
Graphic design Z 246 – Z 250 C

Related programs and support 

Consortial purchases with the TriUniversity Group of Libraries (Guelph, Waterloo, Laurier University Libraries), with the Ontario Council of University Libraries, and on the national level, are pursued.