About the Acquisition and Collection Development Section

Scope

The Acquisition and Collection Development Section focuses on the methodological and topical themes pertaining to the interrelated processes of collection development (planning and building a useful and balanced collection of library materials over a period of years) and acquisition. 

Collection development is based on ongoing assessments of the information needs of library clientele, usage statistics analysis, and demographic projections, and is normally constrained by budgetary limitations. The processes of Collection Development include:

  • formulation of selection criteria
  • planning for resource sharing (i.e., cooperative decision-making within library consortia or with other libraries)
  • planning for new collections or collection areas
  • replacement of lost or damaged items
  • routine selection and de-selection decisions
  • evaluating options for access (e.g., format choice, ownership v licensing)

These processes are guided by a Collection Development Policy which establishes priorities and facilitates decision making

The activities associated with the acquisition of materials (print, other traditional format library materials, and electronic resources) by purchase, exchange, gift, or legal deposit, include:

  • ordering, receiving, claiming, and payment
  • selecting and evaluating supply sources 
  • negotiating pricing
  • licensing of electronic resources

Specialized interests of the Section include collection development policies, collection development methods, techniques and practices for collection assessment, usage statistics, materials pricing issues, ownership vs. access issues, the open access movement, format duplication, scholarly communication, librarians' relations with publishers and vendors, and utilizing emerging technologies to enhance access to information resources. As access to materials becomes an increasingly viable alternative to ownership, the Section finds itself working more closely with the Sections on Serials and Other Continuing Resources, Document Delivery and Resource Sharing, and any advisory committees within IFLA that facilitate discussions between libraries and publishers and/or producers of electronic resources. Also of concern to the Section are the impact and application of technological developments that underlie many of the changes observed in library procedures, patron-initiated practices, and partnering arrangements for acquiring materials (such as electronic data interchange (EDI), licensing agreements, and cooperative and collaborative collection development). In formulating its Goals the Section strives to be flexible and responsive to changing conditions in the professional environment as well as in the information industry. The Section is especially cognizant of the need to integrate its Goals with the IFLA thematic focus and professional priorities.

Mailing list

ACQUIS-L: Acquisitions & Collection Development Section Standing Committee Mailing List is a closed electronic discussion list for members of the Standing Committee. The list is intended to facilitate discussion of and action on matters of interest to the Standing Committee. It provides a necessary and timely way for the Standing Committee to conduct its business in addition to what can be accomplished during the scheduled meetings at the Annual Conference. Messages intended for distribution to the list should be sent to: joseph.hafner@mcgill.ca.

Acquisition and Collection Development

Last update: 1 April 2014