• Noni Harrison

Collections Policy

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

A collection development policy provides the framework that identifies the purpose, goals, scope and contents of the library’s collection (Oberg & Schultz-Jones, 2015). It is a public document created in consultation with the school community, which ensures quality decisions and consistency in collection development. Debowski (2001) recommends including the following items in a collection management policy:

  1. Purpose statement; including, users/target audience, and collection goals, which can refer to ALIA principles

  2. Selection principles; including, staff responsible for selection, resource formats, other limitations including language needs, duplications, cooperative acquisition, selection criteria, donations and gifts, lost items, purchasing and recording

  3. Acquisition policy; including short statements related to, selection tools, priorities, suppliers, and other decision-making factors

  4. Collection evaluation policy; including, collection appraisal

  5. Deselection or weeding criteria

  6. Review of controversial resources; including, a challenge policy

Debowski (2012) included various formats that are now defunct; including, audio cassettes and, in many cases, CD-ROMs. Online subscriptions, databases, and e-Books could now be included in the range of formats listed, as they are current resources that many schools require access to.


Debowski, S. (2001). Collection management policies. In K. Dillon, J. Henri & J. McGregor (Eds.), Providing more with less: Collection management for school libraries (2nd ed.) (pp. 126-136). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. (e-reserve).

Oberg, D., & Schultz-Jones, B. (eds.). (2015). 4.3.1 Collection management policies and procedures. In IFLA School Library Guidelines, (2nd ed.), (pp. 33-34). Den Haag, Netherlands: IFLA.

[Reflection: Module 6.1]


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