Collection development guidelines

1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose of document

This collection development policy is a dynamic working document which aims to inform the public and assist staff in the selection of resources to meet the vision and purpose of the Town of Victoria Park Library service.

1.2 Library mission statement

Our purpose is to support Council’s objectives of creating a vibrant and inclusive community with the library as a place for information, learning, recreation and culture.

We will do this by:
  • Providing equitable and convenient access to products and services.
  • Growing a love of reading, a culture of learning and an enthusiasm for culture, and local history.
  • Creating opportunities for community engagement and building social inclusion through programs.
  • Supporting lifelong learning in the community.
  • Creating a vibrant connection with our community.
The collection and its use should be monitored bi-annually and developed by the collection development librarian to ensure that it meets evolving needs. This requires eliminating aged and non-value-adding collection items, identifying relevant collection items and acquiring new items on a timely basis.

The collection development guidelines are available to any person who wishes to know the official views and guidelines of our library service. 
It can be used as a management tool, both in the effective training of new staff, and in the logical development of a coordinated, organised information service. It provides an official statement clarifying the managerial view on any issues that might arise in the absence of an authorised spokesperson.

1.3 Objectives

  • We will connect people to services, resources, information, facilities and experiences that enhance their physical and social well-being.
  • We will create a vibrant Town that is a place of social interaction, creativity and vitality.
  • We will celebrate cultural diversity and promote cultural harmony.
  • We will promote access and equity in service provision for all members of the community.
  • We will promote and celebrate the rich history and heritage of the Town.
  • We will provide opportunities for lifelong learning for all sectors of the community.

Ongoing objectives relating to collection development include:

  • To enhance, maintain and organise collections of resources for borrowing and/or use in libraries by customers.
  • To promote and support information technology use by staff and customers.
These objectives are reflected in the library’s collection development policy.


2. Library service principles and guidelines

2.1 Legislative framework

The Town of Victoria Park Library service operates within the framework of the Library Board of Western Australia Act 1951 and related legislation.


2.2 National and international policies and statements

The following national and international policies and statements on library and information services inform this collection development policy:


Australian Library and Information Association
The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) policies and statements on public library services, free access to information, core values, information literacy, library and information services for people with a disability, and library and information services and indigenous peoples.

National Library of Australia 
he Australian Interlibrary Resource Sharing Code, published by the National Library of Australia.
International Federation of Library Associations 
Various manifestos and guidelines published by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).

2.3 Collection overview and responsibility

The Town of Victoria Park Library service is a single branch library with its collections located in Sussex Street. Support is provided to local schools and aged care centres allowing them extended loan of items, to meet their needs. It provides library and information services to residents, workers and visitors to the Town of Victoria Park. Our service is enhanced by providing access to our digital collection as well as national and global electronic resources 24/7.

The responsibility for collection development rests with the collection development librarian. In the interests of cross-functional team collaboration, this person may delegate selection responsibility for certain areas of the collection, to various staff members with particular subject, genre or resource expertise.


3. Collection and selection guidelines

3.1 Collection development policy

The collection development policy is based on meeting the following key requirements and these factors are considered when selecting and purchasing resources:
  • The format of the material should be in accordance with the accepted library stock formats (as listed in Section 3.3 – Stock formats).
  • The quality of the product should be high ensuring durability.
  • Books are preferred to be hard-back bound where available.
  • Condensed works will not be considered for purchase, but may be chosen as part of a State Library of Western Australia (SLWA) allocation.
  • Materials expected to be interesting specifically to library users may be chosen regardless of other selection principles.
  • Subject matter.
  • Currency of content.
  • Level, depth and breadth of coverage.
  • Suitability for target audience.
  • Level of Australian content - priority is given to collecting Australian material.
  • Authority and objectivity of sources.
  • Ease of access for target audience.
  • Access to online resources in the library and from home.
  • Cost effectiveness.
  • After sales support from the provider.

3.2 Censorship

The Town of Victoria Park Library service regards censorship in any form as against the general professional principles that public libraries represent.

In the spirit of these principles the following guidelines are adhered to:
  • The library recognises that it does not reserve the right to censor any information entering the library, except on grounds of accuracy, quality or relevance, provided that such information is not illegal to possess or distribute under Australian Law.
  • The library will not reject materials for inclusion to its collection on racial, sexual, moral, political or religious grounds, unless such materials are illegal under Australian Law.
  • The library will not restrict the access to information of any client based upon age except for MA 15+ DVD material. The responsibility of juvenile borrowing lies with their parent or guardian, and not with the library.
The Manager Lifelong Learning shall remain autonomous in their power to decide whether specific items will be included in the collection, and shall not be influenced by any outside bodies or persons, excepting government and legal constraints.


3.3 Stock formats

The Town of Victoria Park Library ervice provides its information and recreation material in a variety of formats. Each of these formats exists to satisfy a specific need, either from a customer or from a professional viewpoint. They are purchased through the SLWA and our local stock account which serves to meet heavy borrower demand and to fill identified stock gaps.

3.3.1 Books
The majority of the library collection consists of monographs. This is the most well-known and accepted format worldwide, for the transmission of ideas and concepts. Large print resources are included.


3.3.2 Magazines
A range of popular magazines are purchased under subscription. These allow up-to-date information to be available to customers.


3.3.3 Audiobooks
Spoken word material is available in a variety of formats. These include compact discs, MP3 discs and Playaway sound media players.


3.3.4 DVDs
DVDs offer an alternative to the book for both recreational and educational purposes, and include classic and popular feature films and television series.


3.3.5 Music Compact Discs
Music compact discs are purchased for the library stock. A general selection is purchased as it is intended that the collection will have appeal to all members of the public.


3.3.6 CD-Roms and DVD-Roms
CD-Roms and DVD-Roms are acquired as part of the SLWA allocation.


3.3.7 Newspapers
One copy of The West Australian, The Australian Financial Review, The Australian are purchased daily. Due to lack of storage space only the current week and previous weeks editions are available.


3.3.8 Digital collection
eBooks and eAudio
Electronic books and audiobooks are available for download to computer and personal devices.


A digital collection of electronic magazines are also available for download to computer and personal devices.


3.3.9 Online resources and databases
The library provides access to a range of online resources to assist with research and study. The library is committed to providing access to resources for all members of the community regardless of their language, cultural background, and level of literacy, mobility or physical location. While it may not be practical or financially possible to provide everything, access to items and resources is available to all members of the community through the library’s online catalogue, and interlibrary loan system.
Specialist technical books, school and university text books, and material at a level not suited for use by the wider public library audience are not purchased.


Selection methods include, but are not limited to the following:
  • State Library of Western Australia weekly new title lists
  • Booksellers and library suppliers
  • Bookshops and distribution warehouses
  • Reviews
  • Customer or staff suggestions
  • Donations
  • Promotional information

3.4 Duplication

When funding permits, the library purchases multiple copies of items which are in heavy demand. New editions of popular works – for example travel guides – are purchased as they become available.


3.5 Donations

Donations of books and other library materials may be accepted from the public in accordance with the library’s donations guidelines, based on the following restrictions:
  • Donations must be in a format mentioned in Section 3.3 - Stock formats.
  • Any donation becomes the property of the library unless a specific written agreement is drawn up, signed and filed.
  • Donations will be assessed according to normal materials policy, as to their worth and value to the system.
  • Items which meet the selection criteria are placed in the library .
  • Disposal of unwanted donations is at the discretion of the Manager Lifelong Learning. Donations may be discarded, sold or given away by the library , if it is decided that they are unsuitable for inclusion into the collection.
  • Where donations are sold, all revenue raised remains the sole property of the Council.

3.6 Suggestions for purchase

Any requests received by clients for the purchase of specific titles will be assessed using the above selection criteria. Whilst it is recognised that such requests show a real need by the library users, this in itself is not a guarantee of acquisition of the requested material. Heavy demand by readers will generally result in necessary items being purchased. If not, requests will be satisfied through the interlibrary loan system.


3.7 Discarding resources

To maintain the condition and currency of stock, library collections are regularly weeded.

Items are withdrawn on the following basis:
  • Poor physical condition.
  • Duplication of subject area or title.
  • Low customer demand or usage.
  • Out-dated or inaccurate content.

3.8 Disposal of discarded resources

Discarded items may be:
  • Returned to the State Library of Western Australia (SLWA).
  • Disposed of at the discretion of the Manager Lifelong Learning.


4. Collection development areas

4.1 Adult fiction collection

This collection will contain, as far as is possible, a core collection of classic authors. Whilst it will not be possible to hold all titles by such authors, endeavours will be made to stock at least some titles.


High profile authors, best-sellers and contemporary literature are the most widely read items of the library collection and are acquired to satisfy customer demand. In addition more esoteric works of adult fiction may be purchased to broaden the collection.

4.2 Adult non-fiction collection

The non-fiction collection exists to provide to all ages, a selection of items to cover the informal educational needs. An attempt will be made to cover, all fields of study. 
The library will not purchase any textbooks or coursework relating to specific formal educational courses, with the only exception being where no other work in a subject can be acquired.

4.3 Children’s and young adult collections

The children’s collection caters for the 0-12 years age group, while the young adult collection caters for the 13-17 years age group. Classics for children will form a small part of the collection. Whilst it will not be possible to hold all titles endeavours will be made to stock at least some titles.


The decision on whether to place an item in the children’s or young adult collection is based on an assessment of the level of mental and emotional maturity required by the user to understand the subject matter. The selection of children’s and young adult resources is carried out in accordance with the general selection criteria listed above.
Material will be selected in response to current trends and interests in order to encourage children and teenagers to continue reading through to adulthood. High demand items by popular authors will form the majority of this collection due to its widespread nature and relatively small size; series are often collected.


4.4 Foreign language collection

The foreign language collection exists to provide non-English speaking customers with the opportunity to use library facilities. The languages that comprise this collection are stocked according to the multi-cultural composition of the community. To refresh the collection items are rotated at regular intervals. Resources are mainly in print, but where possible audio-visual formats will be included.

The works in this collection will be primarily fiction, and will be supplied by SLWA. These resources are selected by SLWA staff with the relevant expertise. On demand, specific works of non-fiction in a specific language will be acquired if possible.


4.5 Literacy collection

The library maintains a collection of print and audio-visual resources to assist community members wishing to improve their literacy and English language skills. Emphasis is given to Australian produced material where it is available.


4.6 Large print collection

The large print collection exists to provide the sight-impaired with access to informational and recreational material. Popular works (best sellers) which become available in large print are acquired if possible.


4.7 Audio and audio-visual collection

When selecting audio and audio-visual material, an awareness of technological changes is maintained, with a view to introducing new formats when they are deemed durable and reliable, and are available in a standardised and cost effective format.


5. Collection maintenance

Library stock is repaired and recovered where necessary. New resources are continually added to the collection while old items in poor condition are removed.


6. Local history collection

6.1 Statement of purpose

To collect, manage and preserve material containing information on the history, people, activities, geography and other data dealing wholly or partly with all the localities which now or at any time in the past, have fallen within the boundaries of the local authority of Victoria Park.


6.2 Objectives

  • To provide a permanent collection of material, both current and retrospective in a variety of formats, relating to the municipality of Victoria Park.
  • To acquire, process, preserve and make available this material to users within the local history collection, Town of Victoria Park Library.
  • To provide adequate and appropriate conditions for the conservation, storage and protection of the collection to ensure its preservation for posterity.
  • To provide an information service to individuals and groups e.g. members of the public, Councillors, Council staff, other libraries and organisations.

6.3 What to collect?

The collection will cover a time frame from the earliest recorded information about the area to present day.

It will include materials on all aspects of the area:
  • social
  • physical
  • economic
  • cultural
  • geographic
  • political
  • educational
Original or reproduced material will be collected in the following formats - print, manuscripts, some archival material, cartographic, sound, visual and audio-visual, microformat and machine readable.


It is not intended that the collection would include objects or items of memorabilia, costumes or other objects, which would be better, suited in a museum or art collection.


Where possible, items which would be better housed elsewhere or which are better addressed by the collecting policies of other institutions shall be directed to those institutions.


6.3.1. Print materials
Monographs and pamphlets
  • Local and family histories
  • General West Australiana which covers the area in some depth
  • Histories of organisations
  • Fiction works which relate to the areas, history or inhabitants
  • Genealogical works
  • Unpublished works eg. Council reports, Theses
  • Appropriate sections of state electoral rolls, postal directories, street directories, sketch books, Council electoral rolls


  • All local newspapers in hard copy (either full copy or photocopy of relevant articles) and/or electronic format
  • Relevant articles from other newspapers - State, interstate and overseas

  • Serial publications relating to the local community and relevant historical/family groups e.g. school or club newsletters
Government publications of significance to the area
Election material

6.3.2 Manuscripts (may be in original, hand-written or typed format)
  • Diaries
  • Sketch books
  • Reminiscences
  • Personal/family papers
  • Oral history transcripts
  • Records relating to community business, school and church groups

6.3.4 Council archives
  • Annual reports
  • Budget statements
  • Reports
  • Policy statements
  • Strategic Plans and Principal Activity Plans
  • Newsletters/brochures/pamphlets

6.3.5 Cartographic materials
  • Published and unpublished maps
  • Survey maps
  • Land subdivision/real estate plans
  • Aerial photographs

6.3.6 Sound materials
  • Cassette tapes (eg. Oral history)
  • Film and videos
  • Compact discs

6.3.7 Visual and audio-visual materials
  • Photographic formats - prints, negatives, transparencies, slides, glass negatives
  • Prints and drawings
  • Posters and calendars

6.3.8 Micro formats and machine readable materials
These will be acquired as appropriate.


6.4 Acquisition of material

Acquisition will be based on cost, rarity, space for storage and user demand. High priority will be placed on items which fill gaps in the collection.


Materials should be acquired to obtain a wide range of views and opinions. Each year a budget submission will be made for the acquisition and cataloguing of material for the collection.


6.4.1 Methods of Acquisition
Acquisitions should be for both current and retrospective materials.


Copying should be for photographs, photocopying of materials lent for that purpose, or the duplication of materials in the collection in order to preserve the originals.


A copy of all Council reports should be deposited with the Local History Collection. A copy of all community directories and materials related to community information should be obtained.
Material will only be accepted if it is relevant to the Collection Policy and a “donor form” has been completed. Donor restrictions and copyright will be noted. Donations are permanent and long term loans will not be accepted.

Materials may also be created in a variety of ways by the Council e.g. photographic projects, oral history recordings. Priority will be given to strengthening weak areas of the collection, and filling stock gaps.


6.5 Appraisal of materials

Material will be appraised to determine if it fits the collection policy. Criteria that should be considered are age, uniqueness, time span, geographic scope, potential use, quantity, material content, physical quality and budget. Material should reflect a wide range of views and opinions.

6.5.1 Disposal of materials
Material is acquired for posterity and therefore “weeding” should not occur unless the scope of the collection is redefined or an identical work in better condition is acquired.

6.5.2 Organisation of materials
All materials should be catalogued, classified and adequately indexed to provide for efficient access to the collection. The items will be catalogued according to the physical format and style of the item to be catalogued. It is intended that the catalogue entries will be entered onto the AMLIB Library Automated System.

Local history materials, where appropriate, will be stored in acid free folders, enclosures and containers. 

Published items: to be catalogued according to the Dewey Decimal order and housed on library shelves in the Local history area of the library . Unbound theses, photocopies and reprints are to be housed according to the main subject area.

Newspapers: The current years copies to be kept for public access and indexed articles pertaining to Victoria Park to be photocopied onto archival quality copy paper. The photocopies are to be housed in filing cabinets according to the main subject area.


Original photographs and other illustrative materials: shall be housed in archival boxes with archival interleave sheets. Arranged and identified in accession number. To be indexed by subject and photographer. Negatives are to be housed in appropriate storage kit.


Sound, video and audiovisual: to be housed in appropriate containers according to accession number. To be indexed by subject and interviewee.


Maps, charts and plans: to be housed in appropriate conditions and arranged and identified by accession number. Indexes by subject to be maintained.


Archival and manuscript material not including ephemera: records to be kept in appropriate archive boxes in a secure area. To be arranged in accession order and indexed by subject. A file containing donor information will be maintained.


6.6 Access

The local history collection is for reference only ensuring that the collection is available at all times.