Library Collection Development - Academic Policy - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Library Collection Development - Academic Policy

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Approval authority
Academic Board
Responsible officer
Director, Information Services
Designated officer
Manager, Library
First approved
9 December 2008
Last amended
20 November 2015
Review date
20 November 2020

1. Purpose of policy

This policy sets outs the principles which guide the development of a quality Library collection that meets the information needs of a dynamic community. The policy will ensure that the quality of the collection is maintained through consistency in selection and de-selection processes and a process of continuous evaluation.

2. Policy scope and application

This policy applies to all staff, students and members of University decision-making or advisory bodies.

3. Definitions

Please refer to the University’s Glossary of Terms for policies and procedures.

4. Library Collection Development Framework

4.1 Context

The Collection Development Policy operates within the context of Information Services’ Action Plan. The policy supports the Library’s role in providing collections to meet the learning, teaching and research needs of its students and staff.

4.2 Responsibility

Collection development is a collaborative process involving library and teaching and research staff. Directions and priorities in collection development are reported to Learning and Teaching Committee, Research Committee and Academic Board on an annual basis. Final decisions on the purchase of resources rest with designated Library staff.

4.3 Scope of the collection

The Library collection holds resources designed to support the learning, teaching and research needs of the University. Resources are provided in a variety of formats including:

  • books and other hard-copy printed materials
  • serials (i.e. journals, periodicals or newspapers in both electronic or hard-copy format)
  • databases (electronic collections containing bibliographic citations and/or full-text items)
  • multimedia material (including CDs, DVDs, computer software, and online); and
  • realia (i.e. physical objects, such as models)
4.4 Clients

The Library provides collection access to the following client groups:

  • All students of the University
  • All staff of the University
  • Alumni of the University
  • Members of University Council and other University bodies
  • Companies located in the Innovation Centre
  • Students and staff from local schools
  • Staff and students from institutions with which the University has reciprocal borrowing arrangements
  • Members of the public
  • Other libraries through inter-library loan and document delivery services

5. Resource selection

5.1 Selection criteria

Library Collection Development Guidelines are used in the selection of resources. The following criteria are considered when purchasing Library resources:

  • Relevance of content
  • Quality of content
  • Suitability for the defined client group
  • Demand – copies of prescribed texts and required readings as identified by course coordinators are purchased for the Reserve and short term loan collections or made available via e-Reserve. Multiple copies of prescribed texts and required readings may be purchased to meet the needs of courses taught on multiple sites and/or in response to demand in accordance with the multiple copy formula in the Library Collection Development Guidelines.
  • Currency of content
  • Format – a variety of formats may be purchased according to learning, teaching and research needs. Electronic is the preferred format for serials and high use titles.
  • Adequacy of current holdings in the subject area
  • Availability of resources
  • Cost (initial and ongoing)
  • Language - English language resources are purchased with the exception of material required to support teaching in foreign language courses
  • Space and storage issues
  • Accreditation requirements
5.2 Donations

Donations are assessed in accordance with the Library Collection Development Guidelines.

Donations are accepted only on the understanding that the Library has control over selection, location and disposal of resources.

6. Funding

The Library’s acquisitions budget is allocated between Schools and Library General taking into consideration student numbers, the average book/serial cost for the discipline and projected resourcing needs of new programs and courses. Allocations are split between recurring expenditure to cover the cost of subscriptions and funds for one off purchases. The purchasing of all bibliographic resources for the University with University funds is undertaken by the Library.

7. Access

Resources purchased with University funds are catalogued and located in the Library to facilitate access. Authenticated access to electronic resources is provided via the Library’s web site. All physical resources are held in open access.

The Library does not support or maintain office and/or organisational unit-based libraries.

Resources are made available in compliance with copyright and licence conditions.

The Library provides access to resources representing a variety of opinions and perspectives. The Library endorses the principles of intellectual freedom outlined in the Australian Library and Information Association’s Statement on Free Access to Information.

8. Collection maintenance

Library staff regularly monitor, evaluate and cull the collection to ensure its relevance and currency.