Collection development

Collection Development Principles


The purpose of these principles is to give direction and focus to the selection, retention, and deselection process for Charles Sturt University’s Library collection.

The Charles Sturt University Library's collection development goals are to:

  • Develop a dynamic and user centric collection that supports the teaching, learning and research needs of the University.
  • Respond to the evolving needs in learning, teaching and research programmes, in consultation with academic staff.
  • Support the philosophy of the University Library on intellectual freedom.

These principles do not relate to the collection practices of the Charles Sturt University Regional Archives or Art Collection.

Selection Principles

  • The Library will purchase electronic versions of material wherever possible to enable access to a dynamic collection of resources.
  • New resources for purchase are evaluated according to:
    • relevance to the teaching or research needs of the University.
    • accuracy and quality.
    • currency (unless required for research).
    • Licence terms.
    • expected usage.
    • format and price.
  • The Library will purchase electronic resources where the license terms permit equity, reliability, and continuity of access to the entire client group.
  • The Library manages the collection as a single entity rather than a group of separate, campus-based collections. Physical resources will be located at the campus library where they are most required, regardless of the origin of the purchase request, and can be requested via intercampus or home delivery borrowing services. Where restrictions apply at a campus level, alternative shelving locations will be investigated.
  • In consultation with Client Services and Academic staff, high demand print materials will be replaced with the most recent edition in electronic format wherever possible, in preference to the purchase of additional copies.
  • 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 (e.g. single-use forms) for educational and psychological tests.
  • All Charles Sturt staff and students are encouraged to recommend resources for the collection. Find out more about how to suggest new library resources.
  • Requests for new journal and database subscriptions are subject to a review of similar resources and the availability of ongoing funds. All requests will be initially reviewed by the Library’s Resource Evaluation Committee. The final decision for a new subscription is made by the Executive Director of Library Services and approvals are based on the Expenditure Delegation Policy. It may be necessary for the Library to cancel existing subscription/s of a similar value to fund the purchase.
  • The Library will review journal and database subscriptions prior to the close of a subscription period in the context of funding and usage.
  • The Library collection supports the research programmes of the University. However, the Library may decide to meet specialist research needs through the Document Delivery Service rather than by purchase.
  • The Library will, where possible, purchase one copy of each Charles Sturt University authored book listed on the Charles Sturt Institutional Repository (CRO).
  • The library’s collection strategy is focused on electronic resources. Therefore, donations of physical material are not accepted by the Library.

Library Materials Budget

  • The University provides an annual allocation for the Library Materials Budget to support teaching, learning and research needs of the University.
  • The Library aims to enable the equitable allocation of the Library Material Budget. Priority is given to ongoing recurrent commitments. Previous years spend, publishing trends and the Equivalent Full-Time Student Load (EFTSL) for each faculty are considered to determine the remaining non-recurrent budget allocation.

Acquisition of Materials

Top priorities for the non-recurrent budget include purchase of prescribed and recommended texts. Secondary priorities include resources for designated areas of research, as well as undergraduate reading and research.

Textbook & Recommended readings

  • The Library will acquire electronic copies of prescribed and recommended texts where possible, to provide more equitable access for the entire client group.
  • If the license permits and adequate funds are available, additional electronic copies will be acquired for texts in high demand with limited concurrent user access.
  • The Library works within course and subject development to support the choice of textbooks and readings.

Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) & Evidence Based Acquisitions (EBA)

In line with the University’s student strategy, the Library uses patron driven acquisition models to make decisions on new purchases. Final purchase decisions are made based on use.

Electronic Resources

The Library may purchase/subscribe to electronic resources when:

  • Associated licences permit access to the entire Charles Sturt University client group.
  • Ezproxy or another 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/subscription agreement is negotiable and opt-out options are available.
  • the subscription is through the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL).

The Library will not purchase/subscribe to electronic resources if the request:

  • requires special equipment.
  • is pay-per-view.
  • can only be installed on a single workstation.

Physical Resources

Print books may be purchased when electronic copies are not available, licence terms restrict equitable access and/or cost is prohibitive.

Print subscriptions are usually cancelled for journals 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.


The Selection Principles also apply to the acquisition of multimedia resources.

Collection Management

The Library’s Collection Services staff, in consultation with academics and faculty librarians, are responsible for making the final decisions on removing items from the collection.

The Library will retain any title identified as the last copy on the national database, as a means of preserving potential research material.

The Library may remove physical resources that are:

  • unnecessary duplicate copies.
  • not likely to be of value for 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 version is guaranteed.
  • brief holdings of a journal that are of little value to the collection.

Last updated: October 2021