SFU Library Gerontology collections policy

SFU offers a Minor in Gerontology, a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma (PBD), a Masters degree (M.A.) and doctoral degree (Ph.D.).  The department’s course and research areas are:

Undergraduate courses:

Health Promotion and Aging; Environment and Aging; Drug Issues in Gerontology; Health and Illness in Later Life; Nutrition and Aging; Research Methods in Gerontology; Families over the Life Course; Mental Health and Aging; Sociology of Aging; Counselling Issues with Older Adults; Death and Dying; Adult Guardianship; Ethnicity and Aging; Technology and Aging.

Graduate programs:

There are two concentrations offered within the Masters and Ph.D. programs: Environment and Aging, and Health and Aging. There is a growing emphasis on technology and aging. See also the biographies of Gerontology faculty for further information on research areas.

Collection development is the responsibility of the Gerontology Liaison Librarian. Liaison with the Gerontology Department is maintained through the Departmental Representative 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.

SFU Resources

While Belzberg Library is the major location for the University's Gerontology collection, the interdisciplinary nature of the discipline means that many other materials will be at Bennett Library in areas such as Psychology, Health Sciences and Kinesiology.

Regional Resources

The University of British Columbia has a major collection in the areas of Gerontology and Geriatrics, and the University of Victoria has a collection to support the PhD in Aging and Society in the Department of Sociology.

Consortia and Document Delivery

SFU belongs to three consortia (BC 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 member 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, and interlibrary loans are also arranged with other libraries around the world, as needed. Besides document delivery benefits, membership in these and other consortia, including the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, also offers substantial savings on the collective purchase of licensed electronic resources.


General Collection Guidelines

Languages: the emphasis is on the acquisition of materials in English.
Chronological guidelines: not applicable
Geographical guidelines: Canadian material mainly, with American, British, European, Australian and international materials as well.
Treatment of subject: selection will be primarily from the Coutts profile, as well as bibliographies, reference works, etc.
Types of materials: collecting is split between books and journals. There is a growing emphasis on e-journals and web resources.
Date of Publication: emphasis is on current publications. Retrospective acquisitions are normally only for the replacement of important titles which have deteriorated or disappeared.
Coordination and cooperation with other campus resources:  The Gerontology Resource Centre has grey literature, reports and research documents.

Subjects and Levels of Collecting

The following table lists the main subjects collected by the SFU Library in support of the Gerontology teaching areas and research interests. Subjects listed are collected to varying depths. 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.

Books or forms: Forms (Note: A designation of “Forms” means that only brief descriptions of the books on the subject in question are sent to the library.)


1. Profile Subjects

(1) Gerontology

i. Retirement
ii. Sociology of middle-age

(2)  Health laws - general
(3)  Architecture for special groups
(4)  Demography
(5)  Psychology of aging
(6)  Sports for the elderly
(7) Senescence
(8)  Longevity and Death (Biology)
(9)  Human engineering

i. Engineering for the disabled

(10) Biomedical engineering (Technology)
(11) Preventive medicine
(12) Economics of medicine
(13) Personal hygiene
(14) Geriatric psychiatry
(15) Geriatric nursing

2. LC Subjects

(1) Death and Grief (BD 443 - BF 724 - BJ 1487)
(2) Demography (HB848-3697)
(3) Older adult education (LC5451-5493)
(4) Elder abuse (HV6626.3)
(5) Medical economics (RA 410)
(6)  Bioengineering (TA 164)

3. NLM subjects

1. Geriatrics

(a) Geriatrics - general
(b) Diseases of aged
(c) Degenerative diseases
(d) Physiology of aging
(e) Geriatric hygiene
(f) Geriatric surgery
(g) Psychology of aging

2. Health services and quality
3. Geriatric hospitals
4. Senile dementia










The Library uses approval plans with Coutts, a book vendor that canvasses a range of publishers. This plan is customized to provide approval forms in a variety of vendor-described subdisciplines of gerontology and geriatrics. The emphasis here is on monographs.

The Library also selects books through vendor catalogues, publication lists of relevant publishing associations, and requests from Publishing faculty and students. Throughout, the Liaison Librarian will exercise discretion in any of these categories.