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Library Collection Development Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction 

(1) The role of the Library in Hibernia College is to encourage, facilitate and enable learning, teaching and research. To carry out this role effectively, the digital librarian purchases materials as needed for College programmes.  


What is the purpose of the policy?  

(2) The purpose of this policy is to establish the criteria, priorities and practices related to collection development in the Library. 

To whom does the policy apply? 

(3) The policies applies to the library team and library users which includes students, Staff, Adjunct Faculty and Faculty.  

In what situations does the policy apply? 

(4) The policy applies when new items are needed for the library.  

Who is responsible for implementing the policy?  

(5) The Digital Librarian is responsible for the implementation of the policy.  


(6) Library suppliers- vendors from which the library purchases databases and other library resources. 

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Section 2 - Context 

Legal and Regulatory Context 

(7) All items made available through the library are provided in accordance with copyright law and the stipulations of the  ICLA licence for Higher Education Institutions.  

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Section 3 - Policy Statements 

Part A - Principles 

Principles of library resource management   

Priorities for acquisition 

(8) The main priorities for acquisition are:  

  1. To meet the reading list requirements for all programmes 
  2. To provide any other course-related library resources for students like books and articles linked to session content.  
  3. To provide library resources to support other work of the college, for example, books to aid Authors and Learning Designers in content creation.  

Key criteria for acquisition: 

(9) Hibernia College is guided by the following criteria to ensure fair, transparent and equitable practices when acquiring course related library resources: 

  1. Is the resource relevant to the aims and objectives of the college and its programmes? 
  2. Is the resource of suitable quality? 
  3. Does the resource have appropriate accessibility features?  
  4. Is the resource value for money given expected usage? 
  5. Is the same or similar information accessible or available already? 
  6. Does the resource offer simultaneous multi-user access? 
  7. What license model is offered?  
  8. What are the license terms and conditions? 
  9. Is the interface user-friendly and accessible? 
  10. Will the resource integrate well with library infrastructure? 
  11. What are the hardware and software requirements for the resource? 
  12. Is technical support for the resource available to the library?  
  13. What kind of usage statistics are provided?

(10) The library may work with several different content providers, dependent upon need. Content providers are chosen based on the availability of relevant products, cost analysis and ease of integration with current library systems.  

(11) Books and other items are not purchased for the library based on individual demand for either staff/faculty or students. Where an item is required for individual research, staff/faculty and students can submit a request for an article or book chapter using the library ‘request item’ form. Where staff/faculty require a book for their own research or to assess it’s value for students, they are encouraged to buy a copy through department funds or request an inspection copy from the publisher.  

Principles for acquiring items that are not available in electronic format  

(12) When the library cannot source items necessary for individual users or for reading lists/course content, the following options are available: 

Library supply service  

(13) The library subscribes to Trinity College’s library supply service. Through this service, items can be supplied for individual use only. Staff/Faculty and students can use the ‘item request’ form on the library home page to submit a request for a book chapter or journal article (in accordance with copyright rules).   


(14) When items are required for reading lists or for the VLE, library staff use the BL EHESS. Items sourced in this manner include a copyright fee, allowing the sharing of items with all students simultaneously. Library staff can source book chapters and journal articles using this service.  

Print book purchase 

(15) Where items are not available from the BL EHESS, library staff can purchase a print copy of the book and the relevant section can be copied and uploaded to the reading list.  

No option to source an item 

(16) Where the item cannot be sourced by any means, the item should be left off the reading list as only items accessible to students can be added by the library reading list software.  

Principles for the review of subscribed resources 

(17) A review of all subscriptions takes place on an annual basis as one year is the typical subscription period for subscribed resources. Usage statistics are a crucial part of the decision-making process but other factors that can be considered include:  

  1. Cost VS usage 
  2. Item represents unique information (not found elsewhere)  
  3. Restrictions on full text access 
  4. Changes to licensing model 
  5. Changes to licensing terms and conditions 
  6. Changes to remote access condition 

Staff and Faculty Responsibilities 

(18) To facilitate feedback and involvement of academic staff and Faculty in identifying priorities for purchase, the Digital Librarian liaises with each department. The Library requests updated reading lists for programmes in preparation for the release of modules. Staff and Faculty are responsible for informing the library of reading list requirements well before a module’s release date (at the latest one month in advance).  

(19) The library can be contacted at any time to make changes to reading lists or regarding ad hoc purchases that may be required for reading lists or session content. Queries regarding reading lists can also be directed to the library. Emails should be sent to 

Student Responsibilities 

(20) While the library does not purchase books based on individual demand, students may request or recommend books for purchase. A recommendation may be made when a student feels that a book needed for a programme is not currently available. Library staff will investigate and, where necessary, escalate the request to the relevant staff/faculty member. Otherwise, alternative options will be outlined to the student, including the library ‘item request’ form, public library and/or purchase options.