Armidale Library Collection Development Policy

1.0 AIMS 

      1.1 Our Vision 

We will help to foster continued excellence for our community’s cultural, spiritual and social development and economic growth with organized access to wide-ranging resources, in order to help provide a quality living environment for all of our citizens. 

      1.2 Why we have a Collection Development statement 

 The Collection Development statement documents the strategies for

developing and managing the collection held in the Armidale Dumaresq Council War Memorial Library.

To create opportunities for recreation, culture, information and lifelong learning, the Library aims to have a collection that:

  • Provides a balanced range of resources that caters for its community and provides both popular, best selling material and enduring works.
  •  Is flexible to meet the changing needs of the community.
  •  Provides equitable and equal access to information for the whole community.


 Armidale Dumaresq is a regional city in a rural setting. The temperate climate has cold winter nights and mild summer days. The population of over 24,000 occupies a local government area of 4,234 square kilometres. The population is relatively affluent and well-educated, because of the presence of the University of New England, but has faced recent declines in population and no less disadvantage than many other inland Australian areas. The Library Service aims to encourage the growth of the community in every possible way, as our vision makes clear, and to reflect in its collections the information needs of its population.

2.1 Library Membership – Registered Library Users 

 Up to 62% of the local community are members of the Library, and many others use its resources without feeling the need to borrow Library materials. Library membership reflects the proportion of adults to young adults and children in the current local population statistics.


The majority of the Library Service collections are available for loan to all members of the community. There are collections that are only available for use in the library, for example Reference resources.

       3.0.1 Community Languages 

 The Library Service borrows small collections of material in other languages from the State Library of New South Wales as borrowers request them.

3.1 Selection Mechanisms 

 The Library Manger is responsible for developing and managing the Armidale Dumaresq Council War Memorial Library collections. Resources are shared with other Australian Libraries through Inter-library Loan; and collections of Large Print Books, Audio Books and Music Compact Discs are co-operatively owned by and rotated between four other Library Services on the Northern Tablelands (Glen Innes, Guyra, Inverell and Tenterfield).

3.1.1 Requests 

Requests made by customers for materials not held in the collection are considered for purchase. Library staff ensure that purchase of the item is the most appropriate option, after checking alternative titles in the collection, interlibrary loan, Internet information or referral.

3.2 Selection Criteria 

 The criteria used when making selection decisions include:

3.2.1 Subject Matter 

 The suitability of the item is considered in terms of the subject, style, accuracy and reading level of the material. Priority is given to material that is popular as well as being relevant to Australian lifestyles and trends.

3.2.2 Construction Quality 

The item should be attractive, well made and durable. In addition:

  • Books and periodicals require high quality print and paper.
  • Audio-visual material is required to stand up to multiple uses and have clarity of sound and/or picture.

          3.2.3 Potential Use 

Library staff use their experience, knowledge and historical data to anticipate demand and identify potential turnover of new titles.

3.2.4 Relation to the Collection 

 Consideration is given to how this item will strengthen the Library’s collection. Will it fill a gap, complement something that is already held, or provide an alternative opinion? Consideration is also given to whether the materials are available elsewhere in the community.

3.2.5 Bibliographic Considerations 

Library staff take into consideration:

  • Reputation of the publisher and/or author.
  • Format of the publication.
  • Book reviews about the title.

           3.2.6 Cost 

General guidelines are drawn up to identify acceptable price limitations for differing types of material. Individual purchasing decisions are made for items that exceed these.

3.2.7 Resources not collected 

  • The following categories of material are not generally collected by the Library:
  •  expensive or rare items inappropriate for a public library service.
  • ephemeral material of little value even in the short term.
  • items of inappropriate physical dimensions, e.g. extremely small,  large, or heavy.
  • old, out-of-date or fragile items – unless specifically acquired for  the Local History collection.
  • material in languages not represented in the community.
  • items prohibited by law.
  • items unavailable through standard or appropriate specialist  suppliers.
  • advertising material for commercial interests – e.g. store  catalogues.

3.3 Gifts and Donations 

The Library is pleased to accept gifts and donations, but reserves the right to decline or redistribute them as appropriate if they do not meet the selection criteria.

3.4 Collection Evaluation 

The Library will evaluate the effectiveness of the library collections through analysis of performance data, and feedback from the users and staff. Annual data collection is undertaken to develop the collection appropriately. Statistics will include the following:

  • Loans.
  • Stock held.
  • Age of collection.
  • Turnover rate.
  • Acquisition (growth).
  • Development of core resources.
  • Delivery time from supplier to shelf.

3.5 Collection Maintenance 

Withdrawal of library material is undertaken as part of ongoing collectionmanagement to ensure that library collections are attractive, reliable and appropriate, and that they reflect the changing needs and interests of our users. As with the selection of material, withdrawal looks to achieve similar goals. The material removed from the open shelves will no longer be relevant to the customers, for a range of reasons:

  • Obsolete and dated material with information that is misleading
  • Poor physical condition, damaged beyond repair
  • No longer in vogue or useful for today’s needs

3.6 Censorship 

The Library supports the Australian Library and Information Association’s (ALIA) Statement on free access to information:

Collection Purpose and Content 

Adult Fiction 


To provide access to a broad range of fiction books for recreational reading, to stimulate the imagination, to reflect society and to display a range of literary styles.


This collection includes a wide range of best selling and popular fiction, as well as literary classics, works by new and local authors, award winning titles, Australian fiction and translations of the works of major non-English speaking writers.

     Audio Books 


To provide a selection of library material for those who have difficulty in accessing print and for those who prefer this format.


This collection includes both fiction and non-fiction for all interest and age levels. Priority is given to popular, unabridged titles that have been professionally produced

     Electronic Multimedia 


To provide access to a range of electronic and multimedia resources which fulfil the informational, cultural and recreational needs of the community.


These resources include access to the Internet, databases, CD-Roms and DVDs. The Internet is provided to enable access to current information in an electronic format and to facilitate electronic communication.  Online access to some information databases is provided to meet and anticipate the needs of library customers for specialised, current and in depth information.

The CD-Rom & DVD collections include full text resources, images, and interactive multimedia. Educational multimedia is purchased where this is the most appropriate material for the subject.

Junior Fiction 


To provide a wide range of fiction books that promote reading for pleasure, stimulate the imagination, reflect society and display a range of literary styles for children from 5 to 11 years of age.


This collection includes popular, high demand, high interest and enduring works of fiction. It may include works with a high illustrative content and Australian books.

Large Print 


To provide reading material in large type formats for users who prefer this format.


The collection includes a wide range of fiction and popular non-fiction in both hardback and paperback formats.

     Local Studies 


To provide access to material and information sources relating to the history of the Armidale Dumaresq area. This may include local organisations, individuals or families.


The emphasis of the collections is generally on published records and information of local value. Local Archives and Historical Societies have the much more intensive brief of supporting researchers and documentary collection.

Magazines, Journals & Newspapers 


To provide information which is of current interest.


The collection includes publications that cover a range of subject material relevant to local needs.



To provide access to a selection of recorded music covering a variety of styles for all age ranges.


This collection contains a range of recorded music including popular, contemporary, classical and indigenous music. This collection does not include sheet music, sets for performance, lyrics and scores.  CD format is preferred.

Non Fiction 


To provide access to materials which fulfil the informational, recreational and cultural needs of the community, and contribute to lifelong learning.


This collection includes a selection of materials across a wide range of subjects and interest levels to reflect the diversity of interests and needs within the community. Priority is given to Australian content and interests. Specific collecting areas may be designated from time to time to ensure that the collection is up to date with contemporary issues. Textbooks are included in the collection only when they are the most appropriate material available. Student workbooks are not normally purchased.

Picture Books 


To provide books primarily for younger children (reading age 0 – 8), which contain a low proportion of text and use illustration to convey most of the storyline.


This collection includes stories, simple non-fiction titles and board books. Quality of illustration and appropriate use of text are factors in purchase decisions.

Reference Resources 


To provide access to up-to-date, relevant material to meet the information needs of all levels of the community.


The collection includes encyclopaedias, dictionaries, yearbooks, handbooks, directories, biographical dictionaries, atlases, bibliographies, statistical material and indexes, available in both print and electronic format.

Videos and DVDs 


To provide a range of recreational and informational resources, and a selection of library materials for those with a hearing disability and literacy needs.


The collection includes selected commercial and classic films, popular television series, captioned videos, documentaries and instructional material for all age groups.

Young Adult 


To provide access to a broad range of fiction books for recreational reading, to stimulate the imagination, to reflect society and to display a range of literary styles for youth aged 12 – 17 years.


This collection includes popular high demand, high interest fiction.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s