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About Library & Learning Services: Collection Development & Management Policy

Collection Development & Management Policy


  1. The purpose of this policy is to set out the principles for collection development and management of library resources at the University of Suffolk (the University). 
  2. The scope of this policy includes the physical collections held at Ipswich campus library (the Library) and online collections.
  3. Through this policy the Library aims to provide high quality collections that are accessible, relevant, current and available in appropriate formats to support the learning, teaching and research delivered and conducted by the University.
  4. The resources and services of the Library aim to contribute to the mission and values of the University by supporting a learning experience that is designed to equip our students with the knowledge, skills and confidence.
  5. This policy is intended to support the purpose and aims of Library & Learning Services.



  1. The following are a set of guiding principles which the Library aims to follow throughout the development and management of its collections. These collections aim to be:

Digital First

  1. The Library will employ a ‘digital first’ principle that places electronic as the preferred format for its resources. The rationale for this principle is that it:
  • enables access regardless of location;
  • supports the University’s blended approach to learning and teaching;
  • provides access to a greater range of resources through subscription packages;
  • enables multiple users access to the same item (depending on licence);
  • improves accessibility of content;
  • facilitates the sustainable expansion of the collection regardless of any limitations to the physical library space;
  • offers flexibility of response to unexpected events.
  1. This digital first approach is subject to the limitations of availability and cost of eBooks and eTextbooks. Further information on this is available in the books section of this policy.

Inclusive & Diverse

  1. The ongoing development of the Library aims to curate a collection that embraces a wide range of voices, stories, and cultural backgrounds.


  1. The Library will aim to take a sustainable approach to collection development and management wherever possible.


  1. The Library aims to provide inclusive and accessible collections that cater to the diverse needs of our users.



  1. An annual budget is made to the Library for the acquisition of resources.
  2. The allocation of the annual budget will be determined by the Learning and Teaching Librarians (LTLs) on an annual basis in order to fulfil the requirements of this policy.
  3. The Library will make use of consortia agreements available through Jisc and Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC) when possible, to ensure value for money.


Collection Development

Course Content

  1. Priority is given to the acquisition of resources on course reading and resource lists, with a commitment to provide access to all resources listed.
  2. Further details regarding the acquisition and management of reading and resource list materials are included in the Reading and Resource List Framework.

Digitisation of material

  1. Reading and resource list items that are in high demand, including print book chapters and journal articles with no available digital equivalent can be digitised for inclusion in specific modules within the Online Learning Environment (OLE).  Material uploaded to the OLE is required to comply with copyright licencing legislation, the University’s Copyright Policy and the terms of the Copyright Licence held by the University.
  2. The process for digitising and uploading content to the OLE and further copyright guidance are available through the Library and Learning Services website.

Collection development beyond course content

  1. Where possible, collections will be further developed through acquisition of resources to support taught courses and research interests. This selection is based on the LTLs’ professional knowledge, publisher recommendations and staff or student suggestions through the stock suggestion form.
  2. The collections will also be developed in line with the university’s areas of distinctiveness, ensuring that these research priority areas are represented in the collection.

Responsive acquisition of resources

  1. If a specific resource required for individual use is not held by the Library a resource request (interlibrary loan) can be made or, if more cost effective, the item may be purchased.  Information about the Resource Request service can be found on the Library and Learning Services Website.
  2. Stock suggestions are welcomed from staff and students to enhance the collection and to address individual requirements.  An online form should be completed and is available on the Library and Learning Services website.   Wherever possible stock purchased following a stock suggestion will be made available electronically, in line with the digital first principle outlined in this policy.


Resource Types


  1. eBooks will be purchased wherever possible in line with our digital first principle, subject to cost and appropriate licensing. eBook models include, outright purchase, usage credits, demand-driven acquisition (DDA) and eTextbooks.
  2. Where eBooks are not available for purchase, print copies will be acquired.
  3. The number of print copies, eBook licences or credits held in the collection will be based on the indicative procurement commitment formula as set out in the Reading & Resource List Framework.


  1. Journals will be provided in electronic format except where a title is only available in print, or where there are gaps in electronic content created by publisher embargos.  Exceptions may also be made at the discretion of the LTLs for subject areas that are predominantly visual in nature, where images are important and reproduction quality in online resources is compromised.


  1. A range of aggregated database subscriptions are maintained to provide access to electronic full-text and abstracts of journal articles, newspapers, magazines, streamed content, theses and archive resources. 
  2. The decision to subscribe to a database will be made after a process of evaluation and review based on a trial for identified relevant parties from within the University community.  Evaluation is based on:
  • cost;
  • need and fit against taught course areas;
  • gaps in the collection;
  • access to unique content;
  • predicted demand;
  • relation to research and areas of distinctiveness.


  1. A collection of DVDs will be made available that are relevant to taught courses and are made available for educational purposes under the Educational Recording Agency (ERA) Licence. 

Video Games

  1. Video Games will be purchased in dialogue with the School of Technology, Business and Arts. Selected games will be relevant to taught courses for educational purposes and will be used on campus using consoles provided by the school. Loans are limited to undergraduate students with access to the consoles.

Theses & dissertations

  1.  A collection of University of Suffolk student dissertations is made available through WMS Discovery and are subject to secure electronic access. Permission to deposit their work in the system is sought from University of Suffolk students achieving a high award for their dissertation. Submitted dissertations are held for 5 years.
  2. External theses and dissertations are also made available through relevant database subscriptions and external services.


Collection management

Collection review

  1. The collection is subject to regular review to ensure continuing relevance and value for money.
  2. The schedule for collection review is set out in the Library and Learning Services Schedule of Business.
  3. Items in the collection are evaluated against the following criteria:
  • relevance to current course delivery;
  • relevance to research interests;
  • inclusion on resource lists;
  • usage;
  • currency;
  • condition (for hard copy items);
  • availability of a newer edition;
  • accessibility.
  1. Journal and database subscriptions will be reviewed on an annual basis. They will be evaluated against the following criteria:
  • relevance to current courses and research; 
  • usage across an academic year;
  • duplication of content across resources.
  • completeness of journal holding run (back file);
  • availability of a title as full text through an alternative route, such as an eJournal (for print journals);
  • cost, both overall and cost per use.
  1. If, as a result of evaluation, an item is flagged for withdrawal it will be removed from the collection, or a subscription discontinued. Print items withdrawn from the collection are donated to Book Rescuers where appropriate.

Ongoing collection monitoring

  1. Resource usage is monitored regularly, for example with regular reports on unfulfilled holds and eBook turnaways. Where demand is high action will be taken by the LTLs, for example changing loan periods, purchasing additional print copies or purchase of an eBook or further licenses if available.


  1. Donations may be accepted according to the Library’s donations policy.

Policy review

  1. This policy is subject to review every 2 years.

Next review date: January 2026