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SFU Library Geography collections policy

The Department of Geography at SFU offers undergraduate and graduate training leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy. Major areas of study in the department include spatial information science, computer cartography and remote sensing, biogeography, geomorphology, climatology, urban geography, economic geography, and social-cultural geography.

Research by faculty and graduate students can, for the sake of simplicity, be divided into three streams - human, physical and spatial information science. Areas of research are:

Human Geography:

Economic geography: the local/regional impact of economic structure on resource-based communities, resource and environmental issues associated with food production, water resource management and agricultural land use, labour, and theories and strategies of development. Much of this research has been carried on in the context of British Columbia and Canada, but the department also has a growing interest in international aspects of geographical development, particularly in the context of Western North America, the Pacific Rim and Latin America.

Social-cultural and political geography: interrelationships between geography and law; urbanization and the geography of housing; landscape interpretation; tourism and community development; health and social policy; urban politics; environmental politics; tactile mapping; migration and settlement patterns; emotional geographies; gender relations and the environment; and consumer culture and the social production of space.

Physical Geography:

Biogeography is the study of the geographical distributions of organisms and their habitats, and the evolutionary, ecological and historical factors which control them.

Biogeochemistry is concerned with ecosystem-scale investigations of the cycling of nutrient-elements through aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and their potential control of ecosystem structure and function, with emphasis on the interactions among biological, hydrological, and geological factors.

Soil science research at SFU focuses on nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems; forest soils, particularly the influences of management practices on fertility; and applications of Geographic Information Systems in resource management.

Research in climatology and hydrology at SFU focuses on the physical controls on energy and water cycling, particularly in the atmospheric boundary layer and the shallow subsurface.

Geomorphology: glacial geomorphology, sedimentology and processes, fluvial geomorphology and sedimentology, subsurface architecture and depositional environments of deltas and wandering gravel-bed rivers; analysis of modern basin fills.

Spatial Information Science:

Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing, Spatial Statistics, Cartography, Geographic Information Science, Geographic visualization/Geovizualization, Spatial Cognition, Spatial Modeling, GeoComputation, GeoSimulation.

Collection development is the responsibility of the Geography Liaison Librarian. Liaison with the Geography Department is maintained through the Departmental Representative(s) as well as with other faculty members when required. Regular contact with other liaison librarians and teaching departments is nurtured through the sharing of relevant review material.

Interdisciplinary Relationships

Centre for Sustainable Community Development – an interdisciplinary program in which Geography participates.
Department of Earth Sciences
School of Resource and Environmental Management
Department of Economics
Department of History
Department of Political Science
Urban Studies Program

SFU Library Resources

The WAC Bennett Library is the major location for the University’s Geography collection. Belzberg Library, at the SFU Vancouver Campus, has a small collection – chiefly of Urban Studies material. SFU's Surrey Library has additional Spatial Information Systems materials. The RDL/Map Library houses print maps, atlases, aerial photos, digital maps and data sets.

Regional Resources

The UBC Library has a large collection in all areas of Geography. The Geographic Information Center in the Geography Building at UBC houses an important collection of aerial photographs.

Consortia and Document Delivery

SFU belongs to three consortia (Electronic Library Network; Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries; and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries). Document delivery agreements exist with all three of these consortia, which allow delivery of journal articles and books from these libraries in a timely manner. Holdings and direct requesting from over 40 libraries are accessible through the Interlibrary Loan web page and from many databases.

General Collection Guidelines:

Languages:  the emphasis is on the acquisition of materials in English.
Chronological guidelines:  the emphasis is on contemporary material, except for Historical Geography and History of Geography, which cover all time periods.
Geographical guidelines:  emphasis is on British Columbia, western United States, and Canada – particularly Western Canada.  Materials on Latin America and the Asia Pacific are important in some areas.
Treatment of subject:  all treatments except clinical and religious aspects.
Types of materials:  collecting is split between books and journals. There is an emphasis on e-journals and web resources.
Date of Publication:  emphasis is on current publications. Retrospective acquisitions are normally only for replacement of important titles which have deteriorated or disappeared.
Coordination and cooperation with other campus resources:  GIS and Maps/Research Data Library.
Other factors for consideration:  none at this time.

Subjects and Levels of Collecting

The following table lists the main subjects collected by the SFU Library in support of the Geography teaching areas and research interests. Subjects are those used on the selection profiles we have with our distributors. The subjects listed are collected to varying depths. The method in which the library selects books on each subject is listed in the second column of the table. A designation of “Books” in this column means that items which fit the General Guidelines (above) for the subject in question are sent on an approval basis to the library. In such cases, a significant portion of the books on that topic will be acquired for the collection. A designation of “Forms,” on the other hand, means that only brief descriptions of the books on the subject in question are sent to the library. The liaison librarian, often with the assistance of the department or faculty representative or other faculty members, then selects the relevant items for acquisition by the library.

Humanities Division  
1. Geography Division
1. Geography -general
(1) Geographic thought
 
(2) History of geography
 
(3) Geography methodology (quantitative and qualitative methodologies and statistics for geographers)
 
2. Physical geography division
(1) Physical geography - general
Books
(2) Tropical geography
Books
(3) Polar geography
Books
(4) Mountain geography
Books
(5) Desert geography
Books
(6) Wetland geography
Books
(7) Island geography
Books
(8) Waterways geography
Books
(9)Water Conservation
Books
3. Economic geography
Books
4. Political geography
Books
5. Historical geography
Books
6. Anthropogeography
Books
7. Cartography
Forms
8. Atlases division
(1) Atlases - general
Forms
(2) Political atlases
Forms
(3) Historical atlases
Forms
(4) Physiographic atlases
Forms
(5) Biblical atlases
Forms
(6) Other specific geographic atlases
Forms
(7) Gazetteers/geographic dictionaries
Forms
9. History division
(1) Urban history - general
Forms
Applied Interdisciplinary Social Studies Division  
1. Environmental studies division
(1) Environmental policy
Forms
(2) Water pollution and society
Forms
(3) Air pollution and society
Forms
(4) Water pollution and society
Forms
(5) Human ecology
Forms
2. Urban studies
(1) Urban studies - general
Forms
(2) Urban renewal
Forms
(3) City planning
Forms
3. Rural studies
Forms
4. Regional studies
Forms
5. Development studies division
(1) Development studies - general
Forms
(2) Sustainable development
Forms
6. Land use planning
7. Population studies division
(1) Population studies
Forms
(2) Immigration and emigration
Forms
(3) Internal migration
Forms
8. Poverty
9. Housing/Homelessness
(1) Disasters
Forms
(2) Disaster preparedness/planning
Forms
(3) Natural disasters
Forms
Social Sciences Division  
1. Sociology division
(1) Urban Sociology
Forms
2. Economics division
(1) Economic geography
Forms
9. Political science division
(1) Political geography
Forms
(7) Gentrification
Forms
General Sciences Division
(1) Remote sensing
Forms
Earth Sciences Division
1. Soils
(1) Classification of soils
Forms
2. Hydrology division
(1) Hydrology - general
Forms
(2) Surface hydrology
Forms
(3) Glaciology - hydrology
Forms
3. Geomorphology division
(1) Geomorphology - general
Forms
(2) Weathering, erosion and deposition
Forms
(3) Landslides
Forms
(4) Glacial geology
Forms
(5) Sedimentology
Forms
(6) Earthquakes
Forms
(7) Rivers and valleys
Forms
4. Oceanography division
(1) Oceanography - general
Books
(2) Ocean bottom processes
Forms
(3) Composition and property of sea water
Forms
(4) Marine pollution
Forms
(5) Aquatic biology
Forms
(6) Dynamics of oceans
Forms
(7) Economic oceanography
Forms
5. Meteorology division
(1) Meteorology - general
Books
(2) Mechanics of atmosphere
Forms
(3) Sea-air interactions
Forms
(4) Atmospheric radiation
Books
(5) Weather systems
Forms
(6) Precipitation
Forms
(7) Climatology
Forms
(a) Climate forecasting
Forms
(b) Climatic variation and change
Books
(c) Climate and society
Forms
(8) Air pollution meteorology
Forms
(9) Microclimatology
Books
(10) Weather forecasting
Forms
Computer Science and Engineering Division
1. Computer applications division
(1) Geographic information systems - GIS
Books
Technology Division
1. Reprography division
(1) Photogrammetry
Books
(2) Aerial photography
Books
Natural Resources Division
1. Land use division
(1) Land and land use - general
Forms
(2) Land use planning
Forms
(3) Public lands
Forms
(4) Private lands
Forms
(5) Urban land use
Forms
(6) Coastal lands
Forms
2. Recreation areas management
(1) Parks
Forms
(2) Forest reserves
Books