Collection Development Policy - Florence G. Strauss-Leonard A. Wisneski Indigenous and Integrative Medicine Collection

Florence G. Strauss-Leonard A. Wisneski Indigenous and Integrative Medicine Collection

Collection Development Policy  (Revised 2019)

Collection Overview

The Florence G. Strauss-Leonard A. Wisneski Indigenous and Integrative Medicine Collection at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Strauss Health Sciences Library (Strauss Library) was established in honor of Florence G. Strauss.  It includes books, journals, databases, and other resources related to complementary health practices and alternative therapies from around the world, with a focus on different healing traditions, practices, and attitudes toward health and disease. 

An integral part of activities supporting this special collection is the Strauss Committee, comprised of health practitioners, researchers, educators, and librarians from the Anschutz Medical Campus, the Auraria campus, and the community.  The Strauss-Wisneski Collection is supported through an endowment established by Mr. Henry L. and Joan T. Strauss.  Additional funding is provided by the Health Sciences Library and monetary and materials donations by the Strauss Committee members and other donors.

Selection Responsibility

Oversight for selection of materials for the Strauss-Wisneski Collection is provided by the Strauss Health Sciences Library’s Head of Collection Management following general guidelines for the Library’s collections.  Staff members within the Library’s Collection Management Department assist in identifying, procuring, cataloging and managing collection materials.

Members of the Strauss Committee are encouraged to make recommendations for materials to be added to the Collection based on their professional expertise and understanding of the mission of the collection.  Recommendations by other health sciences professionals and students will also be considered.

Selection Criteria

Collection Scope

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) classifies most complementary health approaches into one of two subgroups: 1) natural products, including herbs, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics, often sold to consumers as dietary supplements; or 2) mind and body practices, including a large and diverse group of procedures or techniques such as yoga, meditation, and acupuncture, administered or taught by a trained practitioner or teacher.  Some complementary approaches may not neatly fit into either of these groups—for example, the practices of traditional healers, Ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, and functional medicine.

For the Strauss-Wisneski Collection, Strauss Library collects extensively publications that describe, analyze or evaluate the delivery, safety or efficacy of complementary and alternative systems, practices or products; official guidelines or policies for the use of indigenous and integrative therapies or products; and authoritative works on the education, training and certification of indigenous and integrative medicine practitioners.  Preference is given to reference materials, educational, professional and research materials.

Selection for this Collection may involve materials that are distinct from and sometimes at odds with conventional Western approaches to medicine and may offer an opportunity to learn about different healing traditions, philosophies and attitudes toward health and disease.  Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis for inclusion of materials that may be considered controversial.

Intended Audience

The Strauss Library serves the information needs of its primary library users including CU Anschutz faculty, staff, students, and UCHealth employees.  The library collection reflects this emphasis on resources that support the clinical practice, educational, and research needs of these primary users.

In the integrative medicine field, there is a large body of literature not specifically addressed to professional health practitioners or scholars, including consumer health materials and popular literature.  Strauss Library collects such materials very selectively, emphasizing serious scholarly works, those characterizing diverse viewpoints, those chronicling public response to indigenous and integrative therapies, detailed description of therapeutic system or critical history or analysis of the system.

Consumer Health: These are materials intended for healthcare consumers, or materials intended to be used by health professionals to educate patients.  Consumer-focused materials may be added with the agreement of the Strauss-Wisneski committee and the Strauss Health Sciences Library Head of Collection Management.  Emphasis is on works likely to be of historical value, i.e., those that influence perceptions about health or health behaviors, chronicle changing viewpoints about health and illness, or provide perspectives not found in conventional medical literature.  

Popular Literature: These are titles aimed at a wide audience and does not require subject expertise to read.  In addition to works that explain scientific and health issues to general readers, popular literature includes genres such as investigative journalism, essays, personal narratives, and polemical works.  Popular literature has research value for historians, medical sociologists and medical anthropologists.  Collection of these material focuses on works noted for their impact on individual behavior or public policy, publications written by noted experts, or those with content or perspectives not found elsewhere.

For both consumer health books and popular literature, the Library may choose to note them as such in the library catalog and/or on the physical items.  It will help users to quickly identify those materials.

Material Format

Collection formats include books, journal, audio visual materials, databases and other electronic resources that provide material suitable to the mission of the Collection. 

Collection Maintenance

Existing materials from the Collection that may be more consumer oriented or controversial will be brought to the Strauss Committee for review.  Materials will be removed from the Collection that are no longer relevant to the needs of primary users.

Duplicate materials are also removed periodically in order to improve the usefulness of the Collection.  Withdrawn books and journals may be offered to local libraries or national library exchanges.


Collection development manual of the National Library of Medicine, 4th ed. Bethesda, MD : National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2004.  In particular, the following sections:

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Consumer Health

Popular Literature

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).  Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In a Name?  2018.