Academic departmental library collections as curriculum trend indicators
Changes in the Hunter College School of Social Work (HCSSW) Library's holdings have matched the contemporaneous changes in the field of social work for which it collects. While most schools of social work in the USA, including the program at Hunter, continue to emphasize agency-based social work practice, the HCSSW Library's collection indicates that the current curriculum is actually putting more importance on individual psychological problems like depression and eating disorders. This trend toward more private practice psychotherapeutic work has been decried in the field, but the HCSSW Library collection seems to indicate that schools teaching future professionals are complicit in this trend. This, in turn, suggests that an academic library's collection can often anticipate changes in a field of study before it is widely acknowledged among the faculty who are experts in the field being collected.