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Levy Library Policies: Collection Development

Levy Library Collections

The collections of the Levy Library support the Icahn School of Medicine and the Mount Sinai Health System's academic curriculum, research programs, and clinical care missions.

The Library's extensive digital collection includes over 60, 000  biomedical journal titles; 185, 000 electronic books and 175 databases.

Levy Library's print materials supplement the digital collection. The print collection totals over 2,500 textbooks and monograph titles in the fields of biomedicine and the health sciences.

Collection Development Policy

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 print materials. When an item is available in more than one format, priority is given to collecting the digital format.
  • Authors Affiliated with Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai: The Levy Library is actively curating a collection of works where 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. The Library highlights the Mount Sinai Authors Collection through a curated list and highly recommends faculty, staff and students to contact the Collection Management ( department to consider titles for purchases
  • The Levy Library reserves the right to decline any resource requests irrespective of our published collection development policy and its accompanying criteria.

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 when licensing; 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. 
  • 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.

Print Collection

  • 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 print 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 (       
  • The Levy Library’s current print collection includes Biomedical textbooks, Course Required Textbooks, and our Special Topics Collections which highlights recent titles in topic areas of interest to the Mount Sinai community.  
  • Book stacks: Includes 1600 print titles with a focus on preclinical sciences such as Human Anatomy, Biochemistry and Pathology as well as Medicine and Related Subjects including but not restricted to Practice of Medicine, Communicable Diseases, Public Health and Psychiatry.
  • Reserve Desk: Course Instructors frequently request that the Library make books and other resources available to students enrolled in their courses. Course Required Items have a limited loan period. Instructors can request course reserves by completing the following form.   
  • Special Topics: These titles address current and topical issues of interest to the Mount Sinai community. The Levy Library curates Special Topics titles in the following categories:
  1. Academic, Career, and Funding Resources
  2. Graphic Medicine
  3. LGBTQI+
  4. Medicine and Literature
  5. New York City
  6. Race and Society
  7. Statistics and Data Analysis

Collection of E-books

  • The Levy Library has over 200, 000 E-books spanning various medical and clinical subject areas
  • For more information on our e-book collections, please visit the Books LibGuide.
  • Mount Sinai Authors: The Levy Library curates both print and ebooks published by Mount Sinai Faculty.
  • Suggest that the Library Purchase a Book or Resource: To request a title to purchase, please complete the Suggest a Title form.
  • The Library also supports Open Access E-Books which can be located through the catalog or the Directory of Open Access Books.

Collection of E-journals

  • The Library prioritizes online access and purchase of journal back files on medical, biomedical and clinical subject areas. The Levy Library currently has over 60, 000 journals.
  • The Library provides access to Apps for Reading E-Journals which includes BrowZine, Flipster and Read by QxMD
  • For more information on our e-journal collections, please visit the e-journals LibGuide
  • The Library also supports Open Access E-Journals which can be located through the catalog or the Directory of Open Access Journals.
  • For assistance with finding full text articles, please visit our Full Text guide for more instructions.

Collection of Databases

  • The Levy Library’s database collection includes 176 databases with a focus on medical education, test preparation and topical medical research.
  • The Library provides access to Databases which includes McGraw Hill’s Access Medicine, BMJ Best Practice and Draw It to Know It.

Retention and Withdrawal Guidelines

  • 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 de-accessioned from the collection.
  • If a resource gets low use, particularly if it is high cost, the Library may after careful evaluation choose to withdraw it from the collection.
  • Librarians will perform periodic weeding of the collection to remove out-dated materials from both the print and electronic collections.   
  • For questions about the collection, please contact the Collections and Technical Services department at

Policy revised 2018