Collection Development Policies

Collection Development Policies

Diane M. Fulkerson (University of South Florida Polytechnic Library, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0234-2.ch004
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The collection development policies of the library will determine the types of material included in the collection. Along with those policies are databases licensing agreements that determine who can access the materials and where they can be accessed from. Collection development policies are usually driven by the academic programs of the institution. Digital collections and digital libraries will often be created from materials at the university. Without collection development policies the digital libraries and collections may receive little use because they do not meet the needs of the students or are difficult to access on or off-campus.
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Collection development policies for many libraries were created before digital content from publishers became the norm rather than the exception. Often times they focus on the print collection of books and journals. While those aspects of collection development need to be maintained libraries need to update their policies to include information about digital materials and how they will be purchased and accessed. Collection development focuses on the types of materials to be collected, the scope, and purpose of the collection. The collection development policies usually state they will be used in support of student and faculty research but, the limitations for example, such as, the major academic disciplines of the collection should be included. If it is a major research institution then the focus on the collection may be for doctoral students in some areas but undergraduate in others. Collection development policies should provide users with an idea of the types of resources they can find and use for their area of research.

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