Library Collection Development Information Sheet


Library Collection Development Information Sheet

Guiding Principles

This information is informed by

ACU Library

  1. collects and provides access to information resources in a variety of formats, and in a number of languages to support the information needs of the University's teaching, learning and research programs.
  2. collects information resources which are relevant to the history of the university, its predecessor institutions, its key stakeholders and its mission.
  3. subscribes to the principles of intellectual freedom enunciated in the Statement on Free Access to Information produced by the Australian Library and Information Association.
  4. encourages the use of Open Access information resources and provides access to relevant open access resources through its online systems.
  5. will purchase or subscribe to electronic versions of resources in preference to print/hardcopy. It will take the suitability of format for particular discipline areas into consideration.
  6. offsets the intake of new print resources with the relocation, disposal or replacement by electronic access of a corresponding quantity of existing print items.
  7. is responsible for the condition and content of its collections.
  8. cannot meet every need from its own collection. Specialist research needs may be met through ACU’s participation in national and international resource sharing programs.
  9. will collect limited copies of textbooks and recommended resources in accordance with the Guidelines for Reference Lists in Current Unit Outlines.
  10. aims to purchase information resources that will be available to the University as a whole and so may not purchase classroom resources or research datasets which provide restricted access (e.g. single user licences; single campus licences).
  11. aims for a comprehensive coverage of publications by the ACU’s authors.

Selection Practices


University staff and students may make recommendations for the purchase of library resources via the Library Resources Request Form. Final decisions for the purchase of all Library resources rest with the Director of Libraries.


Priority is given to publications in the English language. Exceptions to this will be made where non English resources are required to support the teaching of languages other than English, or where scholarly considerations indicate a language other than English is preferred, or where the content is pictorial in nature and its acquisition is made based on this content.

Multiple copies

The Library may purchase multiple copies of titles. No more than three copies of any print item will normally be held. Restricted loan periods may be used to enhance access to print items in high demand.  Where duplication is requested it must be related to use.


The value of an information resource cannot be measured simply considering its price. The price however, in addition to the other listed selection practices, will be considered when evaluating a potential purchase.


Items are accepted on the clear understanding that the Library has control over what is kept and what is discarded, and where items will be located. Only items which will enhance the collection are added to the Library’s collection.  Donations are accepted at the discretion of the relevant Manager.

Substantial donations and those specifying conditions for access, location, treatment or retention must be approved by the Director of Libraries.

The Library is also pleased to receive financial donations.

Government Publications

ACU is not a deposit library for government publications and therefore does not automatically acquire them.

Resource Types

Textbooks & Recommended Reading

Will be held as specified in Guidelines for Reference Lists in Current Unit Outlines.


Journals are a major element of any library collection. ACU Library is committed providing access to a broad range of journals which meets the learning, teaching and research needs of the University.

Electronic Resources

Selection of electronic resources is consistent with the Selection practices set out in this document but also include:

  • The availability of the information from other sources
  • Technological considerations such as platform and interface
  • Compatibility with our search and retrieval or discovery systems
  • Access and license conditions. Resources will not be purchased where licence terms cannot be adhered to by ACU Library or where acceptable licence terms cannot be negotiated
  • Equity of access – in most cases this precludes the acquisition of electronic resources with limited user licences such as resources with a single user or single campus licence
  • Format (full-text or citation only)


ACU Library collects and provides access to a wide range of multimedia, for both teaching and research purposes.  Streaming media is the preferred method of delivery.  The Selection Practices set out in this document apply to multimedia. The availability of suitable equipment, both within the Library and to the Library's users is also taken into consideration.


Newspapers are available for:

  • Current awareness / general knowledge
  • Primary research
  • Supporting the teaching of languages
  • Providing popular media perspective of an academic discipline

In most cases where there are print subscriptions to newspapers, individual issues will not be recorded in the Library’s systems. The print copy will be discarded within a week.

Non-ACU theses

These may be acquired for the Library collection if they conform to the Selection Practices set out in this document.

ACU Publications

Published by ACU

The Library endeavours to collect at least one copy of each ACU Publication in print or online, however it relies on the resources being supplied to the Library for addition to the collection. The Library may consider retrospectively digitising significant items. Where only a print format is available the received publication will be digitised (subject to copyright) or placed in the collection.

ACU Authors

ACU staff members are invited to donate at least one copy of their publications to the Library.  The Library will endeavour, when a publication is brought to its attention, to hold at least one copy of every book written by ACU staff. Where the work is a research output and a digital copy cannot be obtained the book will be scanned, subject to copyright compliance, into a digital format for inclusion in ACU's institutional repository.

Research Bank

Research Bank is ACU’s online institutional repository of its research output.  ACU Library is responsible for maintaining a digital copy of nominated research outputs in this repository.

ACU Theses

The Library is the official repository of the archive copy of ACU higher degree by research theses.  The Library receives these copies from ACU’s Graduate Research office.  In line with ACU’s Guidelines for the Preparation and Presentation of a Research or Professional Doctoral Thesis for Examination, the electronic version of each research thesis is made available by the library via ACU’s institutional repository, Research Bank.

The Library does not collect honours theses or other coursework theses.

ACU Library borrows from other libraries and institutions

The Library does not and cannot hold every item requested by users. Access to items may be provided through interlibrary loan services. Materials asked for via interlibrary loan are usually supplied free-of-charge to individual users. In some cases, costs may be passed on to the requester.

The Library at its discretion may choose to purchase a resource rather than to borrow it.  The item may be added to the Library’s collection if appropriate.

Withdrawal of resources from the collection

Information resources may be withdrawn from the collection if any of the following criteria apply:

  • content has been superseded by a new edition or by other works
  • physical condition inhibits access to its content
  • demonstrated use is minimal
  • there are appropriate copies held elsewhere in the integrated collection
  • they are no longer relevant to the University's academic program or research activities
  • they are in the collection in a more appropriate format.

ACU Library will retain material which is relevant to the history of the university, its predecessor institutions, its key stakeholders (in particular the Catholic Church in Australia) and its mission.

Items for withdrawal outside of this scope, where found to be the only copy held in Australia, may be retained or donated to another more appropriate library.

Complaints and Controversial Material

Complaints about the inclusion or exclusion of material in the library collection will be accepted only in writing and should be addressed to the local Library Manager responsible for the subject area, who will normally resolve the matter. Where appropriate, advice will be sought from the Director of Libraries.

Multi campus environment

ACU Library and academic staff have a joint responsibility to ensure library resources are readily available to support student learning in each unit of study.

Where a unit is taught across a number of campuses, appropriate information resources will be made available.  Print resources may be transferred from between campuses to meet demand.

Each borrowed item will be shelved at the library to which it is returned.  Items will only be transferred between campuses on request or to meet demand.

Collection Preservation

The Library recognises its responsibility for ensuring resources in all formats, including print, graphic, audio, multimedia and digital format, along with the required equipment, are maintained in good condition for their usable life.

The Library's preservation strategies may include: selective acquisition, processing, binding and repair, reformatting, environment control and conservation, disaster preparedness and response, staff and client education, and special housing for rare/special/historical collections.

Review of this document

This document will be reviewed and revised as necessary in order to reflect the changing information environment and the changing needs of clients of ACU Library.

Further assistance

For further assistance, please contact your Library Academic and Research Services Team.

Library Collection Development Information Sheet (PDF File, 126.8 KB)

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Page last updated: 20 Feb 2017

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