HEB recently asked our subscribers to participate in a survey designed to assist in expanding our title list to reflect both underrepresented areas of study and currently popular interests in scholarship. In response we received feedback from 362 respondents at subscribing institutions.
We conducted a similar survey in 2012, and we’ve seen significant shifts in this year’s data. Of the five fields we identified as “trending” in 2012, only two—Film and Media Studies and American History—remain in this year’s top five. (No longer among the top trending fields: Art and Architecture, Latin American History and Literature.) Areas experiencing new growth in popularity include Women’s Studies, LGBT/Queer Studies, and Environmental History. When asked about areas in which their collections should expand, librarians identified deficits in LGBT/Queer Studies, African History, Environmental History, Native American Studies and Middle Eastern History.
These results seem to indicate that certain areas—particularly LGBT/Queer Studies and Environmental History—are growing rapidly while remaining underrepresented in library collections. At the same time, perennial mainstays like American History are experiencing increased interest but remain well-represented. At HEB, we will use these findings to continue to develop our collection in both established and emerging areas. We thank everyone who took part in the survey.