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Policy: Library collection development

Purpose

This policy establishes the framework for development of the Library’s collection including acquisition of resources, deselection of material and collaborative collection building. The policy:

  • provides guidance for the selection and management of scholarly information resources;
  • assists staff in planning and administering the Library budget; and
  • informs users and other libraries of the nature and scope of the collection.

Overview

The Library Collection Development policy covers:

  • collection scope;
  • consultation and communication;
  • purchasing;
  • gifts and donations;
  • access;
  • processing;
  • reviews;
  • deselection; and
  • oversight.

A Collection policy is required to be registered for the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. This program encourages Australians to donate items of cultural significance from private collections to public art galleries, museums, libraries and archives. It provides an incentive for donors to strengthen the collections of archives, galleries, libraries and museums.

Scope

This policy applies across the University.

Policy statement

Principles:

  1. Collection scope
  1. The building of collections is based on teaching and research priorities determined through academic consultation. Consideration is given to building long term research collections which build on existing collection strengths, in addition to meeting current needs.
  2. Material is acquired in the format that best meets the needs of clients. Digital copies are acquired by preference as the most cost effective access solution. Reasons for not acquiring a digital version include music material required for performance or art work which cannot be easily used on a screen or where images in the digital version are of low quality or colour works are only available digitally in black and white versions.
  3. The physical collection is managed as a steady state collection, taking account of the space available for the collection and the resources available for funding storage of the collection.
  4. Works by ANU authors are acquired, unless material is not available because of a contractual or other issue.
  5. Significant sets of library materials that are purchased directly by College staff for individual or departmental use are recorded in the library’s catalogue.
  6. For works required in courses, copies are acquired to meet needs of students. Discussion with lecturers occur to ensure wherever possible delivery is digital, whether through e-reserve or e-bricks, in addition to library copies. E-textbooks are purchased to support study, using a formula based needs approach.
  1. Consultation and communication
  1. Formal consultation about significant developments of the collection, in particular major new acquisitions and serial cancellations occur through the Library Advisory Committee in addition to consultation with individual academics, schools, departments and colleges.
  2. The Library seeks to maximise the return on investment in the collection by promoting the collection, providing information and support through training and online guides.
  3. The Library participates in research which assesses the value of the collection to the University community and publishes the results of these studies.
  1. Purchasing
  1. Purchasing is undertaken wherever possible and advantageous through consortia, particularly through the Council of Australian University Librarians.
  2. All library users may suggest material for acquisition. Suggestions are considered by collection development managers in the Library with reference to the principles in this policy.
  3. Material is purchased through the most cost effective means including use of approval plans, blanket orders, digital acquisition, collaboration with other institutions or via gifts and exchange.
  4. The Library continues to participate in resource sharing arrangements that give the University community access to resources held by other research libraries.
  5. The Library deals directly with publishers if there is no advantage to be gained by using third parties for supply.
  1. Gifts and Donations

The Library welcomes gifts and donations. All offers are reviewed and accepted when they are relevant to the University's needs.

  1. Access
  1. Access to the collection continues to be through the catalogue, a federated (single search) system which also provides access to journal articles, the Australian national resource discovery systems (Trove and LibrariesAustralia) and international resource discovery services (such as OCLC WorldCat).
  2. Research outputs in the Open access repository and E Press publications are also accessible through the catalogue and resource discovery systems.
  1. Processing
  1. Material is acquired to meet teaching and research needs in a timely manner. Requests for collection material that are agreed after support from relevant academics is ordered within five working days of agreement. Rush orders, for material that an academic needs urgently, such as a short loan item for a course, is placed within two working days.
  1. Reviews
  1. The Library undertakes periodical reviews of its business practices in acquisition and cataloguing, at least every three years, seeking best practice information from academic libraries.
  2. The Library collects materials, which represent a variety of opinions and perspectives. It complies with the principles of intellectual freedom enunciated in the Statement on Free Access to Information produced by the Australian Library and Information Association.
  3. Complaints about the inclusion or exclusion of material are accepted only in writing and should be addressed to the Associate Director, Library Services who will normally resolve the matter. Where appropriate, advice is sought from the University Librarian.
  1. Deselection

The Library reviews resources and deselects when:

  1. Material is no longer relevant to research and teaching at the University (note that consideration is given to retaining material that is part of a major research collection).
  2. The Library does not retain duplicates of modern books once the service-reason for their acquisition has passed (regardless of format).
  3. The content has been superseded by a new edition or by other works and the edition is no longer required.
  4. The physical condition inhibits access to its content.
  5. Where a resource is available online with permanent access, print copies are retained if there is a special requirement.
  1. Oversight
  1. The Library Executive has broad oversight of the selection of library materials, which are carried out by a variety of Library staff. The final decision for the acquisition of any resource rests with the University Librarian.

Information

Printable version (PDF)
Title Library collection development
Document Type Policy
Document Number ANUP_009609
Version 11
Purpose This policy establishes the framework for development of the Library’s collection including acquisition of resources, deselection of material and collaborative collection building. The Policy: provides guidance for the selection and management of scholarly information resources; assists staff in planning and administering the Library budget; and informs users and other libraries of the nature and scope of the collection.
Audience Students, Staff
Category Academic
Topic/ SubTopic Information Management - Library
 
Effective Date 17 Dec 2021
Review Date 16 Dec 2026
 
Responsible Officer: University Librarian and Director, Scholarly Information Services
Approved By: University Librarian and Director, Scholarly Information Services
Contact Area Library, Archives and University Records
Authority:
Delegations 0
On 9 April 2021, the ANU Council assigned authority to approve academic policy to the Academic Board.