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Library and Art Collection Development Policy

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Section 1 - Executive Summary

(1) The Library plays a pivotal role in supporting the learning, teaching, research and work integrated learning activities of the University of Newcastle (University), and connects the University and its regional communities with significant historical and cultural collections.

(2) The Library's collections include the General Collection, research outputs, Special Collections, Archives, rare books, and the University Art Collection. The Library is responsible for the acquisition, housing, preservation, management, curation, exhibition, and provision of access to its collections.

(3) This Policy must be read in conjunction with the Library Collection Management Framework and the Art and Special Collections Management Framework which support this Policy.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(4) This Policy and its supporting frameworks:

  1. communicate the collection development principles of the Library, in support of the University Strategic Plan;
  2. provide transparency on the management of the Library's collections;
  3. inform decisions about the acquisition, rehousing, deselection, and withdrawal of material in all formats;
  4. demonstrate compliance with Government legislation; and
  5. facilitate relevant and collaborative collection management and resource sharing with other organisations.
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Section 3 - Scope

(5) This document applies to:

  1. all Library collections, regardless of format or location; and
  2. all sites and services of the University Library and the University Galleries.
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Section 4 - Audience

(6) Staff, students, University affiliates and alumni, honorary academics, general public, and resource-sharing organisations.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(7) In the context of this document the following definitions apply:

Defined Term Meaning
Archives The Archives holds records related to the history of the University and its regions such as: University and Student publications, photographs, maps, plans and policies. This collection excludes University official records which are managed by Records Governance Services.
Art Collection Art Collection refers to original creative works including drawings, paintings, sculptures, photography, installation, other artefacts, digital or other media, or design items.
Artefact An item of material culture that has a functional, symbolic or spiritual purpose that has been made or used by humans.
Collection Collection is a collective term that refers to the General Collection, research outputs, Special Collections, Archives, rare books, and the Art Collection.
Collection management Collection management refers to the strategies and processes of acquisition, retention and management, preservation, and provision of access to information sources to support the needs of a community.
General Collection General Collection refers to the scholarly information resources of the Library, in all formats and in all modes of access, except those items located in the Art Collection or Special Collections.
Material Material includes books, journals, multimedia, maps, art, artefacts, educational resources, archives, manuscripts and rare books. Materials may be in electronic, print, or other formats or media.
Metadata Structured information that helps describe, find, manage, control and preserve an asset.
Rare books Rare books refers to any book which has an enhanced value because the demand for, or research interest in, the book exceeds the supply, usually because of its importance, scarcity, age, condition, physical and aesthetic properties, association, or subject matter.
Research outputs Research outputs refers to University research materials created by University authors. These are hosted and/or managed by the Library and within the Library's open access repository. These include: theses; data in a range of formats; audio-visual material, manuscripts, and individual articles and journals hosted on the Library's open source platform.
Special Collections Special Collections refers to resources in a variety of formats that are distinguished, and have intrinsic value to, the University and its regions. Special Collections include materials such as, but not limited to, archives, rare books and manuscripts.
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Section 6 - General Principles

(8) The Library will uphold the following collection development principles:

  1. Intellectual freedom: The Library will support the principles stated in the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Free access to information statement and recommendations by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) by developing collections that represent a variety of perspectives. Resources will not be censored or removed based on disapproval of the author’s political, social, moral, or other opinions or behaviour;
  2. Relevance: Materials and resources will be selected, acquired, and managed to support the learning, teaching, and research needs of the University, as defined by the University Strategic Plan, and its regions;
  3. Indigenous inclusion: The Library will actively embed Indigenous research material and knowledge into University teaching and research. The University is committed to the protection of Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property rights of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people. The acquisition and management of all significant collection materials will be bound by appropriate legislation, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Protocols for Libraries, Archives and Information Services and Protocols for Using First Nations Cultural and Intellectual Property in the Arts;
  4. Equity of access: The Library's collection practices will ensure inclusive and equitable access to our collections, whilst observing licensing and copyright compliance;
  5. Sustainability: In support of the Environmental Sustainability Policy, and efforts towards the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Library is committed to sustainable collection development. This includes a commitment to providing access to information (Sustainable Development Goal Target 16.10) and integrating the Sustainable Development Goals across Library collection development and management;
  6. Student experience: The Library will collect limited leisure reading and materials, in addition to exhibiting student artworks to support the wellbeing of students and increase student engagement. Leisure reading and materials will be located in discrete collections;
  7. Risk and assurances: The Library will manage risk in accordance with the Risk Management Framework and regularly seek a valuation of the collection to ensure an appropriate level of insurance.
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Section 7 - General Collection

(9) In addition to the general principles, the following principles for collection development will apply to the General Collection:

  1. College consultation: Selection of materials and resources will be based on professional expertise, evaluative review methods, and information actively sought from the academic community;
  2. Open Access: The Library is committed to the principles outlined in the Council of Australian University Libraries Statement on Open Scholarship 2019, the ALIA Open Access Policy Statement and the University Open Access Policy;
  3. Research outputs: The Library manages the University's open access institutional repository, NOVA. It aims to store, manage, and provide access to the research outputs of staff and postgraduate students of the University;
  4. Digital first: The Library will prioritise the acquisition of general collection materials and resources in electronic format, to enhance access to the collection independent of time and location;
  5. Resource sharing: The Library will support resource sharing and collaboration in finding sustainable and cost-efficient solutions to rising acquisition costs, subject to format availability and copyright law;
  6. Donations: The Library will comply with the Donation Acceptance and Management Policy. The Library may direct enquiries for donations that do not meet the requirements of this policy or the Donation Acceptance and Management Policy to the Friends of the University of Newcastle;
  7. Collection management: The Library will regularly undertake collection management procedures to ensure the relevance, currency, and accessibility of general collections in all formats (see Library Collection Management Framework);
  8. Discoverability: Resource description and metadata schemas used by the University Library will be aligned where possible and appropriate with international standards.
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Section 8 - Art and Special Collections

(10) In addition to the general principles, the following principles for collection development will apply for the Art and Special Collections:

  1. Strategic significance: The Art Collection and Special Collections will be acquired and managed based on the principles of significance, relevance, and authenticity to provide and ensure reputation, distinction, and competitive advantage for the University and its regions;
  2. Specialisation: The Library will acquire, store, preserve, manage, and deselect Art and Special Collections:
    1. to add value and distinction to the University's collections (highlighted in the Art and Special Collections Management Framework);
    2. to support and enhance appreciation and understanding of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Pacific cultures;
    3. to reflect the relationship between art, teaching and research strengths, and the cultural landscape of the University;
  3. Acquisition standards: Art and Special Collections will be acquired through purchase, exchange, commission, or donation. High value acquisitions for the University Art Collection must be approved in accordance with the University's delegations. Acquisitions will comply with the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries;
  4. Donations: The Library will comply with the Donation Acceptance and Management Policy. Gifts, donations, bequests and transfers will only be accepted where the donor has provenance and full legal title to the work and the gift is made on the basis of a total unencumbered transfer of ownership from the donor to the University;
  5. Collection management: Art and Special Collections management activities including deselection, will be conducted ethically and in the interest of the University by the University Librarian or their nominee. These activities adhere to the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries, International Council of Museums Code of Ethics for Museums, Australian Society of Archivists Code of Ethics, International Council on Archives Code of Ethics, Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material Code of Ethics and Code of Practice and the statements outlined in this policy and associated Art and Special Collections Management Framework.
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Section 9 - Access to Collections and Resources

(11) Access to the collections and resources is governed by the Library, Galleries and Museum Use Policy.

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Section 10 - Roles and Responsibilities

(12) The University Librarian is ultimately responsible for collection development (resource selection and deselection).

(13) Accountability for the collection valuation process lies with the University Librarian.