Collection Development Policy
The primary function of the Library collection is to support the teaching, learning and research activities of the students and staff of Australian Catholic University. Information technologies are used to provide streamlined access to a fully integrated collection that combines electronic resources with print material held at six campus libraries.
2. Purpose of the Collection Development Policy
The major objectives of the policy are to:
• Establish guidelines for the selection and management of scholarly information resources to meet the priorities of the Library’s strategic plan.
• Assist staff in planning and administering the Library budget.
• Inform users and other libraries of the nature and scope of the collection.
• Set guidelines for access to the various components of the collection.
3. Clients Served
The Library provides services to the following client groups. Service conditions vary appropriately:
• All students of Australian Catholic University (ACU)
• All staff of ACU
• Staff and students from institutions with which ACU libraries have reciprocal arrangements
• Members of the general public who are welcome to use the libraries and for whom borrowing conditions are specified in the Australian Catholic University Library's Circulation Policy
• Other libraries through Library Inter-Library Loan and Document Delivery services in accordance with the Library's interlending policies.
4. Access to the Collection
4.1 Electronic Access
Access to electronic collections is available online through the Library website to ACU students and staff according to the relevant license agreements. The Library will provide walk-in access for library visitors and inter-library lending of electronic resources where license agreements permit. Access for alumni is available to a selection of electronic resources. Items scanned for inclusion in the copyright database are only available to ACU students and staff, in accordance with copyright regulations.
4.2 Physical Access
Opening hours of the libraries vary according to local campus conditions and are publicised in advance. All campus libraries have open access print collections. Some material, for example very valuable or seldom used items, may be stored in closed stacks. In addition, the Library endeavours to provide sufficient computers within the campus libraries to ensure students have equitable access to electronic library resources.
4.3 Bibliographic Access
The Library is a member of UNILINC, and uses its shared library system. Except for some very old or ephemeral material all bibliographic holdings are included in both ACU Library and UNILINC catalogues. The holdings of UNILINC members are included in the Libraries Australia database.
Networked access to the shared library system is available to all campuses of the University. Remote access to the library catalogue is available through the Library website.
4.4 Transfer of Library Resources between Campuses
The University Library and academic staff have a joint responsibility to ensure that library resources are readily available to support student learning in each unit of study. Where a unit is taught across a number of campuses, an appropriate collection of library resources to support it must be available electronically or developed on each site. Print resources may be transferred from other campuses if demand changes. Access to less high demand material located on another campus will be provided through the inter-campus loan service.
5. Budget Model
With the approval of the Library Committee, the Director of Libraries determines an Acquisitions Budget each year. This budget is developed in consultation with the Senior Library Forum, taking account of input from a variety of sources from within and outside the Library. While not formally divided in this way, the budget will cover the following broad areas:
5.1 Serials and Subscription Datasets
Serials and particularly datasets are often multi-disciplinary. Most of the allocated funds are committed in advance, but the model recognises that some funds need to be available to accommodate publisher offers or resource needs that may be identified during the year. This collection incorporates both print and electronic resources:
5.1.1 Subscriptions to electronic resources including serials, aggregated collections, index and abstracting services, newspapers, ebook collections, etc. which are available to all members of the University.
Selection criteria for electronic resources are consistent with the Selection Guidelines set out in Section 7 but also include:
- The availability of the information from other sources
- Technological considerations such as platform and interface
- Compatibility with relevant information technologies such as SFX, Metalib and Ezproxy
- Access and license conditions
- Equity of access
- Format (full-text or citation only)
5.1.2 Subscriptions to print serials held in campus libraries. This allocation is limited to essential titles that are not available in electronic format.
5.2 Teaching and Learning
This allocation covers the acquisition of non-serial material in all formats, including electronic, particularly in support of the teaching and learning activities of undergraduate and coursework postgraduate students. An emphasis is placed on meeting the Library’s obligations under the University’s “Guidelines for Reference Lists in Unit Outlines”.
5.3 Research and Development
These acquisitions recognise that there are additional information resource and collection development needs, which do not fall into teaching and learning profiles. They represent material in support of the University’s research activities as well as to develop the reference and general collections. Where appropriate this includes back runs of serials and rare books.
Liaison Librarians with responsibility for specific subject areas will work closely with academic staff to determine scholarly information needs. The Library Executive has broad oversight of the selection of library materials, which may be carried out by a variety of Library staff. The final decision for the acquisition of any library resource rests with the Director of Libraries.
7. Selection Guidelines
The Library acquires resources, which relate to the educational, professional, cultural and research needs of students and staff of the University.
The following criteria serve as guidelines, which apply to the selection of all potential acquisitions:
- Relevance of content
- Quality of content
- Currency of content
- Suitability for the defined client group
- Replication of content already held
- Cost (initial and ongoing)
- Source of funding
- Space and storage issues
English is the preferred language, except for material to support the teaching and learning of foreign languages or where scholarly considerations indicate that a language other than English is to be preferred.
8. Formats Collected
To maximize availability and accessibility, electronic is the preferred format for all material types provided the platform, cost and licensing conditions are acceptable. Access must be available across all campuses. Print and other formats will be collected in the absence of any suitable electronic version but will not normally be acquired if an electronic version has been purchased.
8.2 Multiple copies in print
In order to enhance the range of print titles available, normally no more than three copies of any print title will be held in a campus collection. Restricted loan periods may be used to enhance access to print items in high demand.
According to the “Guidelines for Reference Lists in Current Unit Outlines”, at least one copy of texts and recommended references must be available either electronically or in the library of each campus where the unit is offered. Further references must be available through the Library and extended readings may be available through the Library or from collections outside ACU.
8.4 Non-book Materials
Amongst formats included here are sound and video recordings, manuscripts, music, kits, graphic materials, works of art and realia. These resources often have special storage requirements and need specialised equipment for use. Normally, no more than three copies of an item are held in a campus collection.
Serials subscriptions, which include journals, magazines and publications of a periodic nature, require continuing commitment of funds, and space in the case of print, which must be taken into consideration before selection.
The availability of appropriate indexing and abstracting tools for the titles should also be taken into account at this time.
The Library is actively moving to replace titles currently subscribed to in print with electronic format, provided the electronic version is an authentic equivalent of print including, for example, full content coverage with ongoing access.
Newspapers provide daily news and are an important source of current information. Print copies of important local and/or national papers can be made available for reading in the library. Access to other Australian and international newspapers is provided through electronic subscription datasets.
8.7.1 The Library is the official repository of the archive copy of ACU research degree theses.
8.7.2 Once a thesis has been cleared for public access, the University's Research Services provides the archive copy to Saint Patrick's Campus library, where it is catalogued and securely housed. Archive copies are not for loan.
8.7.3 The Library also receives from the University's Research Services a digital copy of research degree theses. The Library mounts these electronically, and makes them available through its website.
8.7.4 The Library also holds copies of theses approved under previous Research Degree Regulations of the University. As determined in these Regulations, once a thesis was accepted for a research degree and approved for public access, one copy was deposited in the campus library at which the student had been enrolled. The campus libraries continue to retain these copies. In the interests of preservation they are not for loan but may be consulted in the library.
8.7.5 Campus libraries hold copies of honours degree theses. Once approved for public access, honours theses are deposited in the campus library at which the student was enrolled. In the interests of preservation these copies are not for loan but may be consulted in the library.
8.7.6 Theses from other sources may be acquired for a campus collection if they conform to the Collection Development Policy Selection Guidelines.
8.8 Published Books Written by ACU Staff
The Library will order at least one copy of every book written by ACU staff to be housed in the academic’s home campus library. If the book is relevant to a variety of units across campuses then additional copies will be purchased as per the normal selection criteria.
In addition ACU Library is responsible for maintaining a digital copy of nominated research outputs in the ACU research repository. To comply with these storage and reporting requirements for books published by ACU staff that are research outputs, Liaison Librarians will work closely with the authors to either obtain a digital copy or to order an additional print copy to be scanned into a digital format for inclusion in the repository.
8.9 Works of Art
Works of art that are deemed to promote the pursuits of the University may, from time to time, be purchased or accepted as a donation, and displayed on behalf of the University.
The Library is pleased to receive offers of donations which, if accepted, become the property of ACU. It is not a condition of acceptance that donations will be retained permanently by the Library.
All substantial donations and those specifying conditions for access, location, treatment or retention must be approved by the Director of Libraries.
All donations should conform to the general selection criteria in Section 7 and the following additional criteria, where relevant. Those which do not meet these criteria will be disposed of in a responsible manner.
9.1 Additional Criteria for Donations of Monographs
9.1.1 Items should normally be in good condition, and not require binding or repair.
9.1.2 Donations will normally be integrated into the main collection. Where from a collection perspective the donor is of pre-eminent significance, the donation may be shelved separately. Rare and expensive items will be given appropriate accommodation.
9.2 Additional Criteria for Donations of Serials
9.2.1 Donations generally should be substantially complete, and in good physical condition.
9.2.2 Donations will normally be integrated into the main serials collection and not bear any additional identification as to the donor.
9.3 Additional Criteria for Donations of Material in Other Formats
Before donations in other formats are accepted, consideration must be given to their requirements for housing, preservation, licensing, equipment and use.
The Library maintains an active collection of material appropriate to the University's academic programs and research activities.
The Library is committed to retaining holdings of serials important to the needs of our clients, providing rapid access to this content, and operating the services in an efficient, cost-effective manner (for details applying to retention, see Appendix B: Retention of Serial Publications).
10.2 Non-serial Publications
Other items acquired will be retained for their usable life, except when withdrawn in accordance with the criteria in Section 10.4 or where contractual or other considerations external to the Library determine the period of retention.
Lost items or those withdrawn on grounds of physical condition may be replaced if they meet the current selection criteria.
An item may be withdrawn if:
- Its content has been superseded by a new edition or by other works;
- Its physical condition inhibits access to its content;
- Its demonstrated use level is minimal;
- It is no longer relevant to the University's academic program or research activities.
Where a campus library holds more than one copy of a title, the level of use of the copies will be regularly reviewed to ensure that the minimum effective number is held.
As part of the Library's national obligation to the Distributed National Collection, ACU Library undertakes to retain a work under review with respect to the above criteria or to donate it to another library if it was found to be the only copy held in Australia.
11. Collection Preservation
The Library recognises its responsibility for ensuring that 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 development and implementation of strategies to achieve this end vary from campus to campus and depend on a wide range of variables, such as existing collections and local academic programs and research activities.
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 rare/special collections.
12. Complaints and Controversial Material
12.1 The Library collects materials, which represent a variety of opinions and perspectives. It subscribes to the principles of intellectual freedom enunciated in the Statement on Free Access to Information produced by the Australian Library and Information Association (see Appendix A).
12.2 Complaints about the inclusion or exclusion of material in the campus library collection will be accepted only in writing and should be addressed to the Library Manager who will normally resolve the matter. Where appropriate, advice will be sought from the Director of Libraries, who may refer the matter to the Library Committee.
13. Review of the Collection Development Policy
This Policy will be reviewed and revised as necessary in order to reflect the changing information environment and the changing needs of clients of ACU Library.
Statement on Free Access to Information (Australian Library and Information Association) (ALIA)
ALIA objects addressed
To promote the free flow of information and ideas in the interests of all Australians and a thriving culture and democracy.
Freedom can be protected in a democratic society only if its citizens have unrestricted access to information and ideas.
There are several different levels at which the free flow of ideas can be impeded. At the societal level, legislative bodies of all kinds are expected to consider the legal and regulatory frameworks they put in place to support the free flow of information and ideas about the interests and concerns of citizens. At the institutional level, library and information services are expected to encourage the free flow of information and ideas within the scope of their roles and responsibilities. At the individual level, citizens are expected to make informed decisions in exercising their rights and responsibilities.
The Australian Library and Information Association believes that library and information services have particular responsibilities in supporting and sustaining the free flow of information and ideas including:
- Asserting the equal and equitable rights of citizens to information regardless of age, race, gender, religion, disability, cultural identity, language, socioeconomic status, lifestyle choice, political allegiance or social viewpoint;
- adopting an inclusive approach in developing and implementing policies regarding access to information and ideas that are relevant to the library and information service concerned, irrespective of the controversial nature of the information or ideas;
- ensuring that their clients have access to information from a variety of sources and agencies to meet their needs and that a citizen's information needs are met independently of location and an ability to pay;
- catering for interest in contemporary issues without promoting or suppressing particular beliefs and ideas;
- protecting the confidential relationships that exist between the library and information service and its clients;
- resisting attempts by individuals or groups within their communities to restrict access to information and ideas while at the same time recognising that powers of censorship are legally vested in state and federal governments;
- observing laws and regulations governing access to information and ideas but working towards the amendment of those laws and regulations which inhibit library and information services in meeting the obligations and responsibilities outlined in this Statement.
Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom
Retention of Serial Publications
The following criteria apply to the retention of serial publications.
Scholarship level of the title and currency of holdings
- Peer reviewed titles:
- Current subscriptions. A holding of back issues is retained.
- Previously subscribed titles, or titles that have ceased publication. A decision about retention of back issues is reached on a title by title basis in consultation with relevant academic staff.
- Non-peer reviewed titles. A decision about retention of back issues is reached on a title by title basis in consultation with relevant academic staff.
- Electronic format (with University-wide access) is preferred for retention of our serials, and is actively sought.
- Where electronic format is not available (or is available for only some of the period of our holdings) a hard copy (usually print) will be maintained in one of the campus libraries, and content delivered to clients from other campuses on request.
Retention of Hard Copy Serials
No one campus will be the retention library for all our serials
- Where the library has access to a holding in electronic format in addition to hard copy, all hard copy content will normally be discarded, provided the electronic format is the authentic equivalent of the print copy (eg, providing full coverage, with ongoing access).
- Where electronic format is not available, and hard copy is available in one campus library only, this library will be designated the retention library for the title.
- Recommendations will be made to the Director of Libraries regarding the retention library for hard-copy serials which will ensure that academic staff are consulted before any implementation process.
- Where electronic format is not available and hard copy issues are held in two or more campus libraries, one library will be designated the retention library for the title, and a consolidated run of the Library's holdings assembled, drawing on holdings from other campuses as needed. Print copies on other campuses will be retained for up to five years and will then normally be discarded, except where a formal agreement requires hard copy to be held on more than one campus.
- In exceptional cases, and where the need is demonstrated, modifications of some aspects of this policy may be made. Requests for modifications will be made to the appropriate Campus Library Manager, who will investigate the request and make a recommendation to the Senior Library Forum. Regular review of these cases will take place:
- The period for which back issues of specified titles are held in non-retention libraries may be extended for an agreed period, provided library operations (including space and staffing) permit.
- Hard copy of back issues of serials may be retained even when they are available electronically when it has been determined that the electronic version is not adequate for the purposes of the University.
- Applies to: All Staff and Students
- Owner: Director, Libraries