Nimble Collection Development Policies: An Achievable Goal

Helen N. Levenson


This paper identifies and reviews some of the currently relevant components of collection development which contribute to the need for having a written collection development policy (CDP) in place. The requisite elements for a pertinent and usable CDP are identified, keeping in mind the need to customize these policies to each library’s unique needs. A literature review is presented to demonstrate the long-standing purposes of collection development policies (CDPs), quantitative studies of existing CDPs, and some of the inherent drawbacks in the creation and application of these policies. The author presents a case study which demonstrates the processes undertaken to create a CDP for a medium-sized academic library. This includes more current and relevant considerations for a modern day CDP. The paper also includes the best practices identified throughout the policy creation process and which has the potential to be applied to other similarly situated libraries.

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