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Collection Development Policy: The Richard Welsh Library at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design

  1. Purpose and description

1.1 Purpose

The purpose of the Richard Welsh Library is to support the teaching and research needs of the faculty, students and alumni of the NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD).

1.2 Readership and access

The main readership of the collection is NSAD undergraduate and graduate students and NSAD faculty. Alumni and members of AIAS San Diego are also granted access and borrowing rights. The general public may use materials in the library.

1.3 Description and holdings

1.3.1 Introduction

The collection consists of material in print, video and electronic format.  It is housed in the Main Building at NSAD, 1249 F Street San Diego.

1.3.2 Books

A range of monographs and textbooks on all subjects taught at NSAD are held. Major areas covered are:

  • Architectural history, theory, and criticism
  • Building and Material Technology
  • Building types
  • Construction Management
  • Game Art
  • Graphic Design
  • Interior Architecture and Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Media Design
  • Monographs on individual architects/ designers and their work
  • Product Design
  • Sustainable Design
  • Urban Planning and Design


The collection is primarily a teaching collection. Research level monographs are also included when requested by thesis level students or faculty.

The book collection consists of approximately 17,000 print volumes.


1.3.3 Ebooks

An ebook collection is provided and maintained by Ebrary for ProQuest. The collection consists of publications on all subjects taught at NSAD and continues to grow using a Demand Driven Acquisition model. The ebook collection consists of approximately 8,000 volumes.

1.3.4 Journals

The print journals collection consists of approximately 55 current print subscriptions.  The collection consists of both professional publications and academic journals in architecture, landscape architecture, environmental psychology, graphic design, interior design and media design. Periodicals from U.S., European, Latin American and Asian publishers are represented. The “Core List of Periodical Titles for a First-Degree Program in Architecture” produced by the Association of Architecture School Libraries serves as a selection guide for architecture. In addition, suggestions from faculty and students are considered.

Electronic journals are largely provided by JSTOR Arts and Sciences III, EBSCOhost, DETAILinspiration and CUMINCAD. EBSCOhost databases include the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, Arts and Architecture Complete and Academic Search Complete.

1.3.5 Other resources

The Library houses a growing collection of audio visual materials relating to architecture, graphic design and construction. Students can choose to deposit a copy of their final Thesis in the Library. Theses are cataloged in the library collection.

1.4 Relevant collections and resources outside NSAD

The Central Library of the San Diego Public Library is nearby and has good collections in literature, history, geography, and other fields that lie outside the scope of this library. In addition, San Diego has two very large academic libraries, one at the University of California San Diego and at the other at San Diego State University. Students can use materials at these libraries at no cost and can borrow through the San Diego Circuit. The San Diego History Center in Balboa Park has a good collection that may be useful for students doing research on local architectural history.  

2. Acquisition

2.1 Responsibility for selection

Ultimate responsibility for collection development rests with the Librarian. Selection is always carried out in the light of advice and recommendations from the faculty. Student recommendations are also purchased so long as they fall within the scope of the policies outlined here.

2.2 Books

2.2.1 Subjects collected and collecting level

The Library does not aim to collect comprehensively in any area. Collecting levels are based on the Conspectus Model.

0 = out of scope

1 = minimal information level

2 = basic information level

3 = study or instructional level

4 = research level

5 = comprehensive level

Books are collected in the following areas:

  • Architecture – Current level 3. Aspirational level 3
  • Construction Management – Current level 2. Aspirational level 3.
  • Media Design – Current level 2. Aspirational level 3
  • Interior Design – Current level 2. Aspirational level 3
  • Landscape Architecture – Current level 2. Aspirational level 3.
  • Product Design – Current level 1. Aspirational level 3.
  • Urban Design and Planning – Current level 3. Aspirational level 3.

2.2.3 Priorities

Volumes needed to support teaching and student assignments are given higher priority.  The Library purchases copies of books that are recommended course texts.  The Library makes efforts to monitor usage. Additional copies of texts may be purchased where demand is seen to outstrip provision.  Feedback from students and faculty on the adequacy of Library resources for taught courses is encouraged. Research monographs are purchased selectively.  Selection is the responsibility of the Librarian in conjunction with the faculty.  The Library endeavors to purchase any research-level item recommended by NSAD faculty or needed by thesis students, funds permitting.

2.3 Ebooks

2.3.1 Subjects collected

Ebooks are collected in the following areas:

  • Art
  • Architecture
  • Construction
  • Interior Design
  • Product Design
  • Urban Design and Planning

2.3.2 Priorities

All available ebooks that meet subject requirements are included in the library catalog. Acquisition is patron driven using the Demand Driven Acquisition (DDA) model.  Priorities are therefore determined by the users.

2.4 Journals

2.4.1 Subjects collected

The Library aims to subscribe to core journals in the following areas:

  • Architecture
  • Media Design
  • Interior Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Product Design

2.4.2 Priorities

Priority is given to the maintenance of existing subscriptions. The Library will make every effort to fund new journals as new titles are published or as new programs develop within the school. 

Occasional cancellations may be required: in such cases the Library will consult with faculty.  In general periodicals are retained permanently.

2.4 Other material

Other types of materials will be considered for purchase provided that they are relevant to teaching or research activities at NSAD, and are not otherwise out of the scope of this policy.

2.5 Language

Material will normally be collected in English. Important works in other languages may also be collected.

2.6 Format

Material in the following formats will be considered for collection:

  • print
  • electronic
  • audio-visual

2.7 Collaborative collecting agreements with other libraries

No formal collecting arrangements with other libraries are in place.

2.8 Donations

Gifts and donations will be accepted for the collection subject to criteria outlined in the Donations Policy.  In general, the library will add only materials relevant to the curriculum and the library’s needs. Unwanted duplicate copies and out of date materials will not be added. The library reserves the right to dispose of unwanted materials in any manner it considers suitable.

3. Review of the collection

The Library collection will be reviewed annually for decisions on retention and disposal.  These decisions are the responsibility of the Librarian in consultation with the faculty.

4. Review of Collection Management Policy

This policy will be reviewed periodically and, if necessary, updated, by the Librarian in consultation with the faculty.

RICHARD WELSH LIBRARY at NewSchool of Architecture +Design

1249 F Street San Diego CA 92101

619 684 8783