Library Collection Development Policy


Undergoing review

To provide a set of criteria for the selection, de-selection and overall management of library resources for Eastern College Australia.

Approved on: 05 Sep 2018
Review cycle: 2 Years
Owned by

Library Committee

Approved by

Library Committee


To provide a set of criteria for the selection, de-selection and overall management of library resources for Eastern College Australia.



The Chief Officer of Operations (COO) in conjunction with the governing Board sets the total annual expenditure for the Resource Centre. The allocation of funds from this overall budget figure is managed by the Resource Centre Manager, with input from the Chief Operations Officer, the Learning and Teaching and Research Committee (LTR), and senior lecturers.

The Resource Centre has an e-preferred policy where the preferred resource format is online. This policy has been adopted due to the benefits of 24/7 access and multiple simultaneous usage.

Consideration in the acquisition of resources is given to: strength of existing collection, availability of on-line resources, number of undergraduate students, number of postgraduate students, number of students by discipline, projected future student numbers by discipline, and the price of an individual item or set of resources.

The Resource Centre Manager has responsibility for ensuring that all expenditure is recorded against the appropriate budget allocation and that all budget allocations are spent in a systematic way.

The remaining sections of this policy detail the following: responsibility for collection development, collection development priorities, weeding, preservation and review of collection development policy.


The Resource Centre Manager has the ultimate responsibility for the development of the College Resource Centre and for annually reviewing the Collection Development Policy.

The acquisition of individual items or set of resources is the responsibility of the Resource Centre Manager, but the manager is expected to liaise closely with the LTR and senior academic staff. All stake holders of the College, including students, may propose resources, but the final decision to acquire, or provide electronic access to, an item will be made by the Resource Centre Manager after consulting the Collection Development Priorities outlined below.


This policy recognises that the overarching reason for the existence of the Resource Centre is to service students enrolled in, and staff members teaching, courses offered by the College. Therefore, any development of the collection needs to focus upon the needs of the various disciplines of study offered at the College: Aid & Development, Arts, Biblical Studies, Business Studies, Community Development, Counselling, Education, History, Language, Ministry, Mathematics, Missions, Philosophy, Practicum, Psychology, Research, Theology and Youth studies.

Furthermore, with an increasing number of students studying on-line or from remote communities, electronic accessibility of resources is to be a priority. Therefore, physical copies of books and journals shall only be acquired if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • An e-book or electronic subscription is not available.
  • The electronic resource has a lengthy embargo or the licensing conditions of the resource do not allow its effective use in learning or research.
  • There are technical issues that do not allow adequate usage.
  • The cost of the electronic form is prohibitively expensive.

In addition, to these needs the policy recognises the following priorities:

3.1 Denominational emphasis

The College is a multi-denominational college meaning that a broad range of denominational perspectives should be incorporated within the library. To meet this specific requirement it is permissible to acquire items that would normally be disqualified due to bias.

3.2 Quality

The quality of any item is calculated by weighing up a number of factors including: reputation of the originator, reputation of the publisher, reputations of contributors, degree of scholarship, estimated lasting value, published reviews, and available formats (e.g. electronic).

3.3 Cost

It is recognised that God calls for the wise use of resources and hence cost is a particularly important factor in the acquisition and maintenance of resources.

Any resource acquired for the reference collection is to be in an electronic format if it is available. Any reference copy shall be in hardback unless it is only published in soft cover.

Electronic subscriptions will be prioritised with an evaluation of depth, breadth and access rights considered against the cost of the subscription.

Monographs for the general collection shall be in paperback except if they meet any of the following conditions: there is no paperback version, the item is expected to be in high demand, the price of the hardback is no more than 120% of the normal paperback price.

3.4 Language

All items are to be either in English unless a clear case is made for another language.

3.5 Multiple copies

Electronic subscriptions which allow simultaneous access by multiple users are to be given priority.

With the severe limitation on physical space a second physical copy of a work may be kept in the stack collection, but further copies are not to be added to the collection.

With prescribed class texts the first copy for circulation will be placed on 3 Hour circulation. Any second copy will be placed in the general collection.

3.6 Donations

In principle donations should be treated the same as acquisitions. Items falling within the priority guidelines should be processed in the same way as acquisitions. Any donated material falling outside the Collection Development Priorities should be disposed of. Disposal will normally take the form of initially offering the item for sale through the second hand book-store. If the item remains after three months it will be disposed of.

This principle is not to be applied rigorously where it can be demonstrated that the donated item partly meets one or more of the priority guidelines. In these situations items may be added to the collection.


It is acknowledged that official reports usually stress physical counts in the data given to education authorities. Despite this, the shortage of space at all libraries demands that weeding be conducted in a systematic fashion. The goal of this process is to improve accuracy of retrieval while maintaining a core collection that will satisfy 95% of the present demands made upon the entire collection.

The primary criterion for weeding is where there are more than two copies of a particular resource. The second major criterion is that any item falling outside the collection development priorities listed above should be considered for removal from the collection. Additional criteria are: the resource is available in an electronic format, minimal use, superseded titles, items in poor condition, and items that are poorly written.

This policy also provides further criteria based upon item type:

4.1 Reference works

Reference material may be weeded by being transferred to the General Collection, but items may not be placed in storage or discarded. Likely candidates for transfer to the General collection are works that are available in an electronic format.

4.2 General Collection - Books

Any remaining duplicates in the general collection are prime candidates for weeding. In addition, books that have become physically worn out or have not been borrowed in the past five years are candidates for weeding. The final decision will make an allowance for browsing on an item by item basis. Items that are weeded will be moved to the stack collection, or disposed of (initially offered for sale, then offered to under-resourced libraries in the rest of the world, and finally if they are still not desired they will be dumped).

4.3 General Collection - Pamphlets

Pamphlets that have become physically worn out or have not been borrowed in the past five years are serious candidates for weeding. In addition, pamphlets exhibiting minimal scholarship are prime candidates for weeding. All pamphlets that are weeded are not to go into the stack collection, but will be disposed of as outlined above.

4.4 General Collection- Audio-tapes

Audio-tapes that have not been borrowed in the past five years are candidates for weeding. These audio-tapes shall be disposed of as outlined above. In addition, audio-tapes in older formats such as cassettes are to be dumped unless a strong case for retention can be made.

4.5 General Collection- Video-tapes/CD-ROMs/DVDs

Video-tapes, CD-ROMs and DVDs that have not been borrowed in the past five years are candidates for weeding. Any materials in this category recorded during either; class lectures or College sponsored conferences, and exhibiting good production quality may be moved to the stack collection. The remaining resources weeded shall be disposed of as outlined above.

4.6 Dissertations/Theses

All dissertations from post-graduate theses are to be retained in the Core Collection (Thesis section) and are not to be weeded. Papers from Directed Study Projects (DSPs) will only be kept if they demonstrate scholarship comparable to published works.

4.7 Serials (Journals)

The library is actively transitioning journal subscriptions away from paper copies to full-text electronic access. However, the library has adopted the premise that even where serials are not current they can add to research viability. For this reason, only duplicate copies, non-indexed serials or items in very poor condition are candidates for weeding. Items that are weeded shall be offered to other theological libraries or disposed of as outlined above.


The preservation of the collection encompasses five major areas: remote access, physical environment, covering, repair of damaged items and binding.

5.1 Remote Access

The library shall regularly monitor any embargo upon, or reduction of, available resources in particular electronic subscriptions. Alternative subscriptions that provide better accessibility shall be adopted if they are available at a similar cost.

5.2 Physical Environment

This policy recognizes that ideally the library should be maintained at a temperature of 18-22 C and a relative humidity between 40 and 60%. Given cost constraints it is not currently possible to have a fully regulated environment. Despite this limitation moderate control of the physical environment is to be achieved by using: air-conditioning units, extraction fans, avoiding direct exposure to sunlight, and eliminating damp spots.

5.3 Covering

Encapsulation with polyethylene sleeves is the preferred preservation strategy for monographs. This method eliminates the problem of differential shrinkage associated with covering that involves any adhesive. For this reason, any monograph added to the collection is to be covered before being shelved. In addition, any uncovered monograph returned after borrowing shall be covered provided it is not a candidate for weeding.

5.4 Repair of damaged items

The priority given to the repair of a damaged item is determined by the perceived need for the item. Any item that falls within the guidelines for weeding shall not be repaired and will instead be disposed of.

Any item from the serial (periodical) or reference collections will be assigned a high repair priority. In circumstances where repair is likely to be either expensive or ineffective the purchase of an identical replacement item is recommended.

Any item from the general collection that has been heavily utilised will be assigned a medium repair priority. Any item with moderate use will be assigned a low repair priority. Any item with low use will only be repaired where the repair cost will be less than 50% of the item’s original purchase cost.

Any pamphlet or audio-tape requiring repair will be disposed of unless it has been extensively borrowed. In some circumstances it will be more cost effective to replace the item than attempting repair.

5.5 Binding

Binding is to be carried out by external binding agencies on a systematic basis. The process is currently only applicable for periodicals and dissertations. Binding will only occur for complete volumes of particular journals.

All Eastern College Australia post-graduate theses are to be hard bound and engraved with an externally visible Dewey number.


This collection development policy is to be reviewed on an annual basis. The review is to be conducted by the Resource Centre Manager who will seek input from the LTR, senior academics and personnel experienced in evaluating collections.