Collection Development Guidelines

Purpose, mission and objectives

1.1 Purpose of document

The Collection Development guidelines document is a dynamic relevant 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, diversity, and culture. We will do this by:

  • Providing equitable and convenient access to relevant products and services
  • Growing a love of reading, a culture of learning and an enthusiasm for culture, learning, 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 library aims to provide a comprehensive collection of print, non-print and digital resources which meet the informational, recreational, educational and cultural needs of the community. The library will strive to predict trends and identify the rapid change in user needs and commits itself to intellectual freedom in alignment with public libraries across the nation.

The collection and its use will be monitored and developed by the Collection Development Librarian to ensure that it meets evolving needs.

The Collection Development Guidelines document is available to any person who wishes to access it. The document can be used as a management tool, both in the effective training of new staff, and in the logical development of a coordinated, organised library 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 information that enhances their understanding of the world
  • Will provide opportunities to broaden horizons, stimulate imagination, and cultivate reflection
  • We will curate a collection of materials that our community value
  • We will provide a collection which reflects the broad views of the community
  • We will celebrate cultural diversity and promote cultural harmony through careful selection of available stock
  • We will support early literacy and the development of a love of reading
  • We will embrace the educational background, and varied reading abilities of the community and strive to select materials that vary in complexity
  • We will promote access and equity in service provision for the community
  • We will promote and celebrate the rich history and heritage of the Town
  • We will provide opportunities for lifelong learning for the community

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 these collection development guidelines:

International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Public Library Manifesto. These documents can be viewed at

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 for indigenous peoples.

These documents can be viewed at

The Australian Interlibrary Resource Sharing Code published by the National Library of Australia. This document can be viewed at

The State Library of Western Australia Collection Strategy which outlines the intentions, priorities and key principles guiding the development of the State Library’s physical and digital collections.

This document can be viewed at

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 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 via the library website.

The responsibility for collection development rests with the Collection Development Librarian with the support of the Library Services Manager. In the interests of cross-functional team collaboration, delegation of selection responsibility for certain areas of the collection, may be undertaken by various staff members with subject, genre, or resource expertise.

Collection and selection guidelines

3.1 Collection development policy

The collection development guidelines are based on meeting key requirements which are considered when selecting and purchasing resources

  • The subject, style and formats are suitable for the community
  • The content and format meet the informational need of our diverse community
  • The authority and objectivity of sources and voices from a variety of opinions
  • The competency and reputation of authors and vendors who supply materials
  • The access to online resources in the library and from home
  • The level, depth, and breadth of coverage of content
  • The level of demand for an item which may be both existing and anticipated
  • The enduring value of an item as a classic
  • The ease of access of content for community
  • The cost effectiveness of an item or collection of items
  • The after sales support from vendors
  • The inclusion of Australian content across format and genre

Items which may not be included in the Library collection may include (but are not limited to)

  • Textbooks
  • Self-published materials
  • Resources in a language not currently collected
  • Materials designed to be written into for single use (ex: colouring books, journals, etc.)
  • Resources that promote hatred, vilification or degradation of the community

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 attempts to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions including those which may be unpopular with the majority. As a result, the library may hold material that could be offensive to some clients.
  • The library will not restrict the access to information of any client based upon age except for MA 15+/R18+ DVD material.
  • The responsibility of juvenile borrowing lies with their parent or guardian, and not with the library.

The Collection Development Librarian and Library Services Manager 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.

The Library supports intellectual freedom as outlined in SLWA censorship principles and refers to:

3.3 Stock formats

The Town of Victoria Park Library Service provides its information and recreation material in a variety of formats. Each of these formats exists to satisfy a specific need, either from a client or from a professional viewpoint. They are allocated through the State Library of WA (SLWA) and the Town of Victoria Park local stock budget which serves to meet high borrower demand and to fill identified stock gaps.

3.3.1 Books

Most of the library collection consists of monographs. Large print resources are included.

3.3.2 Magazines

A range of popular magazines are purchased under subscription.

3.3.3 Audiobooks

Spoken word material is available in a variety of formats. These include compact discs and MP3 discs.

3.3.4 DVDs

DVDs are available recreational and educational purposes and include classic and popular feature films, television series, and documentaries.

3.3.5 Music compact discs

A small collection of music CDs is curated and maintained. It includes classic and popular music.

3.3.6 Newspapers

One copy of the West Australian, Financial Review, and The Australian are purchased daily. Due to lack of storage space only the current week and 2 previous weeks of editions are available.

3.3.7 Digital collection

eBooks and eAudio

  • Electronic books and audiobooks are available for download to computer and personal devices.


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

Audio visual material

  • Films and documentaries can be streamed.

3.3.8 Online resources and databases

The library provides access to a range of online resources to assist with research, study, and entertainment.

The library is committed to providing access to resources for all 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 library members through the library’s online catalogue, and inter-library loan system when requested.

Specialist technical books, school and university textbooks, 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 approved supplier selections
  • Booksellers and library resource suppliers
  • Bookshops
  • Reviews
  • Client and staff suggestions
  • 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 are no longer accepted in keeping with Town policy, unless items are relevant to library community obligations e.g., local history collection.

3.6 Suggestions for purchase

Any requests received from 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 clients, this is not a guarantee of acquisition of the requested material. High demand by readers will generally result in necessary items being purchased. If not, requests will be satisfied through the interlibrary loan system.

3.7 Collection Maintenance

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

3.7 De-selection of library materials

To maintain the condition and currency of stock, library collections are regularly reviewed and items are de-selected. The purpose of de-selection is to ensure that the collection reflects the current and anticipated needs of the community and to ensure there is sufficient space to adequately display materials.

Items are withdrawn from the collection on the following basis:

  • Poor physical condition: if deemed necessary replacements will be purchased
  • Duplication of subject area or title
  • Low client demand or usage
  • Out-dated or inaccurate content
  • Online availability
  • Relevance to and demand of the community
  • Items may need to be replaced or their information updated

The Local History collection is exempt from standard de-selection practices.

3.8 Disposal of discarded resources

Discarded items may be disposed of at the discretion of the Collections Development Librarian. In general items are donated to our free little libraries, local schools, charities, old age centres, nursing homes and remand centres.

Collection development areas

4.1 Adult fiction collection

The library provides a wide range of high interest, popular, bestselling and enduring works in print and digital formats and fiction genres. Classic literature and esoteric works will also be purchased as a response to community needs. Where demand for particular titles is high, such as in the area of popular fiction, extra copies may be purchased. The importance of maintaining the integrity of fiction series will be continued where possible and replacement copies, either in print or digital, may be procured.

4.2 Adult non-fiction collection

The non-fiction collection exists to provide to all ages a selection of items to cover the clients’ information needs. An attempt will be made to cover most fields of interest and efforts will be made to fill any obvious or reported gaps in the collection’s coverage.

The library will not purchase any textbooks or coursework relating to specific formal educational courses, with the only exception being where no other work on the 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 13-18 years age group.

The children’s collection consists of board books, picture books, junior fiction, junior graphic novels and junior nonfiction. It includes popular, entertaining, and up-to-date, which promote reading for recreation, develop reading habits, and encourage a lifelong interest in reading.

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 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 to encourage children and teenagers to continue reading through to adulthood. High demand items by popular authors will form most of this collection due to its widespread nature and relatively small size; series are often collected.

4.4 Graphic novels and Manga

The graphic novel and Manga collections include popular titles and award winning items that serve informational and recreational reading interests of children, young adults and adults. They are located as separate collections and not interfiled among general fiction and non-fiction.

Graphic novels are books which contain collections of sequential graphic art containing a single story, individual short stories or a set of interrelated stories. Manga is a popular Japanese genre similar to graphic novels, read from right to left, and collected in sequenced volumes. A variety of formats are acquired with narrative and artistic quality, relevancy to popular culture and public demand considered.

4.5 World language collection

The World Language collection provides non-English speaking clients with the opportunity to enjoy library resources.

The languages that comprise this collection are stocked according to the multi-lingual composition of the community. To refresh the collection, items are rotated at regular intervals. Resources are mainly books, 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 State Library staff with relevant expertise. On demand, specific works of non-fiction in a specific language will be acquired if possible.

4.6 English as a Second Language and 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.

4.7 Large print collection

The Large Print collection provides material for library users who have difficult reading standard print, although the collection is accessible to everyone. It includes items that are popular in fiction and some non-fiction with an emphasis on the reading habits of the community. The collection is limited due to the small number of items published in this format, but every effort is made to ensure it is up-to-date and regularly refreshed.

4.8 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.

4.9 Library of Things

The Library of Things is a curated collection of items intended to foster exploration and learning in non-traditional ways. Items may include games, puzzles, puppets, Memory Kits, yoga mats, and technologies among others. This collection is refreshed regularly and is available across age categories.

4.10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories and representation

The library represents and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and values through our collection. Within our selection criteria, an effort will be made to curate a collection which amplifies First People’s voices and stories. The Town acknowledges that some content may be distressing to some readers and library materials may contain references to names, voices or images of people who have passed away.

Local history collection

5.1 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.

5.2 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.

5.3 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.

5.3.1. 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
  • Ephemera
  • Brochures/Pamphlets
  • Posters
  • Invitations
  • Election material

5.3.2 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

5.3.4 Council archives

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

5.3.5 Cartographic materials

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

5.3.6 Sound materials

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

5.3.7 Visual and audio-visual materials

  • Photographic formats - prints, negatives, transparencies, slides, glass negatives
  • Prints and drawings
  • Posters and calendars

5.3.8 Micro formats and machine readable materials

These will be acquired as appropriate.

5.4 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.

5.4.1 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.

5.5 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.

5.5.1 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.

5.5.2 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.

5.6 Access

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

Full Guidelines Here