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Collection Development Handbook: Collection Policies

Why do we need collection development policies?

Defining for ourselves and for the users what the collection should be

  • Uses money wisely--When funds are limited, it's essential that every book purchased is appropriate for the collection.
  • Uses space wisely -- no library on earth truly has enough space for its books, so every book on the shelf should fit the criteria for that collection.
  • Justifies decisions such as refusal of a donation or inclusion of a controversial title

Identifying needs

  • Definines the unique needs and characteristics of the subject areas
  • Providies information to justify funding requests

Maintaining quality

  • Establishes consistency and objectivity in decision making -- Policies remove personal bias and insure that materials are selected and deselected in a professional manner.
  • Insures that collection activities stay on track regardless of changes in personnel or circumstances
  • Informs ongoing selection and deselection decisions
  • Supports resource sharing and interdisciplinary selecting/deselecting

Learning the collection

  • Helps librarians become familiar with scope, content, strengths and weaknesses of the collection

Supporting collection assessment

  • Schedules regular evaluations of the collections
  • Provides criteria needed in doing an assessment

SU Libraries policies



At present all policies are located on the O: drive: Research Services/Collection Development/polcies


The plan is to place links to the polciies here, on the LIbGuide handbook.  However, at present some of the policies are incomplete or are temporary "placeholders." Once all policies are up to standards, they can be linked here.

Library Resource Analyses

These documents are valuable tools for communication between the library and the course faculty. When used in this way they will:

  • Demonstrate to faculty that the library is aware of their new course and its needs
  • Inform librarian liaisons about new courses or other changes in the curriculum
  • Enable librarians to obtain important materials before they are needed
  • Foster communication between librarian liaisons and course faculty about needs for materials, library instruction, etc.
  • Help keep collection development policies up to date

Supporting Graduate Research