Skip to main content

Levy Library Policies: Collection Development


The collections of the Levy Library support the Icahn School of Medicine and Mount Sinai Medical Center's academic programs as well as its research and clinical care missions.

The Library's extensive online collection includes over 5,000 biomedical periodical titles; thousands of electronic books, including over 1000 core health sciences textbooks; and more than 170 electronic databases. 

Levy Library's print materials supplement the electronic collection. The print collection totals over 20,000 textbooks, monographs, and print journal titles in the fields of biomedicine and the health sciences.

Collection Development Policy

The Gustave L. and Janet W. Levy Library offers a rich collection of biomedical resources including ebooks, ejournals, databases, mobile applications, and printed materials. These resources are collected to support the Icahn School of Medicine and Mount Sinai Medical Center's academic programs as well as its research and clinical care missions. 

General Collection Development Guidelines:

  • Faculty, Staff, and Student Requests: Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to make requests for resources and to provide their input on resource trials. Librarians frequently consult with faculty, staff, and students regarding purchasing and weeding decisions.

  • Online Resources Given Priority: Faculty, staff, and students request and use online materials more than paper materials. When an item is available in more than one format, priority is given to collecting the online format.

  • Authors Affiliated with Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai: The Library makes it a priority to collect works when the main author or editor is affiliated with Mount Sinai. The Library places a lower priority on collecting a work where an author affiliated with Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of many contributors or a chapter author.

  • Collaboration with NYU and Other Consortia: Librarians from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai meet regularly with NYU Langone School of Medicine (Ehrman Library) and NYU (Bobst Library) librarians to discuss collaborating to license e-resources. The Levy Library seeks to collaborate with other libraries and consortia when possible.

Collection Development Criteria for Online Resources/Databases: 

When making decisions regarding purchasing or renewing online resources and databases, librarians will consider the following criteria:

  • The Library pursues licenses to online resources that are available for multiple simultaneous users both on and off-campus through IP authentication.

  • Priority is given to faculty, staff, and student requests.

  • The Library uses the following additional criteria when deciding on new subscriptions, purchases or renewals: usage statistics; ease of use, including the search functions and other features of the database; cost, including whether a discount is available through our consortia or licensing partners such as NYU; utility to the entire Mount Sinai community or to research and academic areas prioritized by Mount Sinai; whether interlibrary loan is permitted; and whether mobile applications or mobile site access is included in the license. 

  • The Library supports open access publishers, including supporting membership in BioMed Central and other initiatives that provide publishing fee discounts for Mount Sinai authors.

  • Perpetual Access versus Subscription Models: The Library will determine whether to purchase perpetual access or a renewable subscription to a resource on a case by case basis. Criteria include: cost, length of time material is needed, availability of both options; and whether additional content will be added to a title in the future.

Collection of Textbooks/ Monographs/Ebooks:

  • If a monograph or textbook is considered a core reference or is required reading for a course, The Library may collect the current edition in both online and paper format.

  • A textbook is defined as a core text primarily if it is included in the current version of the Doody's Core Titles list (

Collection of Serials/Ejournals:

  • The Library will attempt to keep print for serials titles considered core as far as possible within Library space, management and financial restrictions, but prioritizes online access and purchase of journal backfiles.

Retention and Withdrawal Guidelines:

  • The Library retains the most current copy of reference materials (drug handbooks, directories, encyclopedias, style manuals).

  • The Library withdraws previous editions of textbooks (both electronic and print).

  • The Library retains items authored by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai faculty. Print materials authored by Mount Sinai faculty that are judged to be out of date are retained in a separate section of the Library.

  • If a resource gets low use, particularly if it is high cost, the Library may evaluate whether to keep it.

  • Librarians will perform periodic weeding of the collection to remove out-dated materials. 

Policy revised 2012