Collection development

This statement covers the Library’s principles for collection development, acquisition, and maintenance.

Selection Principles

  1. To support the University's learning and teaching strategies the Library will purchase electronic versions of material wherever possible, in preference to print or hard copy.
  2. The priority for non-serials budget is prescribed and recommended texts, plus resource support for designated research areas, and undergraduate reading and research groups.
  3. Allocation of the non-serials budget is divided by School, in direct proportion to EFTSL.
  4. New items for purchase are evaluated according to: relevance to the teaching or research needs of the University; accuracy and quality; appropriate level of content; expected usage; format; currency (recent edition preferred unless required for research); and cost.
  5. High demand print materials will be replaced with electronic resources wherever possible, in preference to the purchase of extra copies. The Library will purchase electronic resources only where licence terms permit access for the entire client group.
  6. The Library manages the collection as a single entity rather than a group of separate, campus based collections. Material will be located at the site where they are most likely to be needed, regardless of the origin of requests, and can be requested via intercampus or home delivery borrowing services.
  7. When a subject is taught at multiple locations, the prescribed texts for that subject will be made available at each location.
  8. The Library does not usually purchase:
    • material in languages other than English, except for materials specifically required for foreign language studies;
    • applications software;
    • consumable items (eg. single-use forms) for educational and psychological tests.
  9. The Library will, where possible, purchase one copy of each book listed on the CSU Institutional Repository (CRO), and make it available for Interlibrary Loan.
  10. The Library will accept donations for inclusion in the Library collection based on relevance to the University’s teaching and research programs, and in accordance with the selection guidelines set out in this statement. The Library reserves the right to decline, or dispose of, donated materials that do not meet selection criteria.

Recommending Library resources

  • All CSU staff and students are encouraged to request items for the collection.
  • Requests for new subscriptions usually come from academic staff and are subject to availability of ongoing funds. It may be necessary for the Library to cancel another subscription, of similar value and from the same School, to fund the purchase.
  • The Library collection supports the research programmes of the University, but might choose to meet specialist research needs through the Document Delivery Service rather than by purchase.
  • Find out more about recommending library resources.

Electronic Resources

The Library is more likely to purchase electronic resources when:

  • the purchase is a Consortia purchase through the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), and/or UNILINC;
  • associated licences permit networking to the entire CSU client group;
  • ezproxy or other suitable authentication can be used for remote users;
  • access is via the Web;
  • perpetual access is guaranteed by the vendor or included in an archive service such as Portico;
  • the length of the purchase agreement is negotiable and opt-out options are available.

The Library will not normally purchase electronic resources where they:

  • require special equipment;
  • are pay-per-view;
  • are installed on a single workstation.

Journals – print and electronic

  • The Library will review serial subscriptions at the close of a subscription period, in consultation with academic staff and in the context of funding and usage.
  • Priority is given to titles relevant to the University teaching and research program.
  • In order to purchase new subscriptions, it may be necessary to cancel a title of similar value.
  • Print subscriptions are usually cancelled for serials available online. The Library will duplicate print resources with fee-based electronic resources where:
    • archiving the electronic format is not guaranteed;
    • the electronic content is variable.
  • Electronic journals will not normally be purchased where:
    • licence terms are unacceptable to CSU and cannot be negotiated;
    • it is not cost effective to replace print subscriptions with electronic formats.
    • low usage and high costs are involved.

Collection maintenance principles

  1. Collection Services staff, in consultation with academics and liaison staff, are responsible for final decisions on removing items from the collection.
  2. The Library will retain any title that is the last copy in the country as a means of preserving potential research material.
  3. The Library will remove items that have not been borrowed in the last five years and are:
    • unnecessary duplicate copies;
    • not likely to be of use in the future direction of the teaching or research programmes;
    • superseded by a later edition, unless the earlier edition is required for historical research purposes;
    • damaged beyond repair;
    • incomplete sets of works (which cannot be used if they are not complete);
    • discredited material of no historical or research value;
    • print journals where archival access to electronic journals is guaranteed;
    • brief holdings of a journal that is of no value to the collection.