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Library Collection Management Guidelines

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) To ensure that the Library's collection is relevant, accessible and contemporary, and continues to support the learning, teaching, and research needs of the University, the Library employs a regular program of collection review, evaluation, relegation and deselection (withdrawal).

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Section 2 - Intent

(2) The purpose of this document is to provide a set of guidelines for the effective management of the Library resources and collections.

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Section 3 - Instructions


(3) The Library reviews the collection on an annual basis to ensure the resources reflect the University's current learning, teaching and research needs and strategies.

(4) The Library's collections are valued by a University appointed valuer on a three yearly basis to comply with insurance and risk management strategies and policies of the University.

Review and Evaluation

(5) Print and electronic collections will be regularly reviewed and evaluated by senior Library staff/authoritative academic personnel for relevance, nature of the item, subject, balance, currency and depth, through a range of mechanisms including:

  1. Evaluations of disciplines by the appropriate Faculty Librarian;
  2. Evaluation of Reference Collections by senior Library staff;
  3. Surveys;
  4. Usage statistics including circulation and inter-library loan statistics for print resources, and accesses/page views/downloads for electronic resources;
  5. Academic staff review;
  6. Evaluation by senior library staff for replacement, relegation or withdrawal of little-used, superseded editions and/ or irreparable materials.

(6) In response to changing environmental factors, including the impact of emerging trends in information and technologies and the need to ensure sustainable and cost-effective storage and access solutions, relocation and/or reorganisation of collections may be required.

Collection Valuation

General Collections Methodology

(7) Valuation costs for the General Collections are based on a methodology determined by the valuer, using the average price per item and a processing cost to cover the acquisition, cataloguing and physical processing.

(8) The valuation is divided by library, collection and material type.

Cultural Collections (Rare Books, Special, Archive and Manuscript Collections) Methodology

(9) Valuation costs for Cultural collections are based on a methodology determined by the valuer.

(10) Items of A$1000.00 or greater are valued.

(11) The valuation is divided by collections, replacement value and fair market value.

(12) Auction records, booksellers' catalogues, and online databases of books are used to determine the current replacement value of the material in Cultural collections.

Collection Preservation

(13) To ensure that resources are maintained in good condition for their usable life, the Library will employ a range of strategies including: evaluation, binding, repair, reformatting, replacement, environmental control, conservation, disaster planning, and staff and client education.

Damaged Items

(14) Damaged items will usually be replaced in preference to repair. Minor repairs can be undertaken where appropriate. Items which are in heavy use will be replaced if available or an appropriate substitute will be reordered. Vulnerable items may be re-housed or placed on restricted loan conditions.

(15) Other items may be considered for digitisation where permitted by copyright and licence agreements, including items such as theses and examination papers.

Missing Items

(16) The Library's Collection Management Services team in collaboration with the Lending Team will undertake a regular review of items marked as missing. Faculty Librarians, in consultation with their faculties, will identify and evaluate the need for replacements. In such cases, replacements or an appropriate substitute will be reordered. Catalogue records for items which cannot be located or replaced will be removed.

Lost, Billed and Paid Items

(17) In accordance with the Library Use Policy, Library clients may be required to pay for loss or damage to Library property plus a processing fee. This includes items on loan, or being used by them in the Library. If the item was part of a set, the client may be required to pay the cost of a new set, if this is the only way to replace the lost part. When an item on loan has been lost, a copy or appropriate substitute may be reordered and the client charged to pay the cost of the item, together with handling fees. If the original copy belonging to the Library is subsequently found, the processing fee cannot be refunded.

(18) The Senior Librarian, Collection Management Services and Faculty Librarians will identify and review these items for replacement on a regular basis.

Deselection: Relegation, Withdrawal and Disposal

Deselection Planning

(19) The Senior Librarian, Collection Management Services implements and co-ordinates the planning of any deselection projects for the Library's collection.

(20) Each deselection project will be managed following appropriate guidelines and planning processes and procedures.

Relegation of Material to Stack

(21) Material considered for relegation must be of scholarly value. Items considered for relegation are available to request for loan. Categories of material for consideration for relegation may include:

  1. Last copy of superseded editions;
  2. Material with low circulation statistics over the past 5 years;
  3. Material available in a suitable online format but with no perpetual archival access;
  4. Collections which relate to faculties, departments or research areas which are no longer viable.

(22) Criteria used for identifying material for relegation will vary from discipline to discipline but may be based on the following:

  1. Loan statistics;
  2. Physical condition of the item;
  3. Publication date;
  4. Teaching and research profile;
  5. Availability in preferred format;
  6. Last national copy of title.

Material to be Withdrawn

  1. Items considered for withdrawal will be based on the following categories:
    1. Items containing obsolete or misleading information;
    2. Material in poor physical condition, beyond repair, particularly where there is a risk of contamination of other material;
    3. Multiple copies of superseded editions; in some cases, one copy of each edition may be retained for historical research purposes;
    4. Duplicates of items held in storage;
    5. Incomplete sets of works (which cannot be used if they are not complete);
    6. Material available in alternative formats such as VHS transfer to DVD format;
    7. Isolated issues or incomplete runs of ceased serials with little use;
    8. Printed material where the Library has secure, perpetual access to an electronic archive;
    9. Duplicate runs of print serials.

(23) The last national copy of any title may be retained to meet potential research purposes. Format, subject/discipline requirements and physical condition will be considered.


(24) Material withdrawn from the Library's  collection will be disposed of in a responsible and appropriate manner. As the Library has no capacity to store discarded material, the following options may be considered:-

(25) Send appropriate titles to the University Biennial Book Fair. The Library may decide not to not send any material where:

  1. The subject matter is ephemeral, medical or legal in nature;
  2. It is audio-visual material;
  3. It is in poor physical condition.

(26) Selected titles may be sent to other interested academic libraries and/or organisations including charities.

(27) Recycling and/or other appropriate disposal methods.

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Section 4 - Roles and Responsibilities

(28) Ultimate responsibility for the management of the collection rests with the University Librarian.

(29) Responsibility for deselection planning and monitoring lies with the Senior Librarian, Collection Management Services.

(30) Overall direction for collection management preservation lies with the Library's Collection Development Group.

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Section 5 - Relevant Definitions

(31) Collection means the scholarly information resources of the University of Newcastle, in all formats and in all modes of access.