Further information

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Strategic Plan

Collection policy documents should be read in conjunction with the University Library Strategic Directions 2015-2020:


Selection factors

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The Library has a set of principles by which it manages its collections. 

  1. Selection
  2. Allocation of resources
  3. Collection maintenance
  4. Access

1. Selection


1.1 Purchased material, is selected for the collections to support and benefit the current teaching, learning and research needs of the staff and students of the University. 

Donated material is only selected where it meets the criteria for inclusion in the Special Collections, or where the author or a contributor is a University staff member.  Exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the relevant Library Manager.


1.2 Development of the collections is shared between academic staff and Library staff.


1.3 The Library preferences purchasing its resources in electronic format to ensure access from anywhere at anytime. Exceptions to this may be due to issues of accessibility, quality, suitability for purpose, and cost.


1.4 When determining whether to acquire material in foreign languages, issues of accessibility, quality, and relevance to the current teaching, learning and research needs of the staff and students of the University, are considered.

Special collections

1.5 The Library has a responsibility for the ongoing collection of all UWA publications and theses for higher degrees by research.

1.6 The Library also maintains and develops special collections in two specific areas of focus, namely Australian literature and the Indian Ocean. These special collections support the research community beyond The University of Western Australia.

Formed collections

1.7 Collections of information resources that have been assembled by individuals or groups (formed collections) are only acquired and retained as discrete collections when they have a value as a coherent collection which they would not have if dispersed.

Affordable and open access to information

1.8 The Library will support and promote affordable and open access to information and will resist unreasonable publisher and vendor price increases. 

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2. Allocation of resources

2.1 The information resources budget is allocated and managed by the Library.

2.2 The information resources budget is used for acquiring information by purchase, demand driven acquisition, subscription, document delivery, and inter-library lending services.

2.3 A portion of the information resources budget is used to support the acquisition of material recommended by the Faculties while the remainder is administered by the Library.

2.4 The information resources budget is distributed between central funds, document delivery, subscriptions and firm orders. 

2.5 In working to further the University‚Äôs goal of building strong community relationships, the Library seeks to supplement its recurrent budget for information resources with funds provided from bequests, endowments and gifts.

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3. Collection maintenance


3.1 Material in the Library's collections is usually retained indefinitely if it is deemed to be of continuing historical or research value.

3.2 Textbook material selected to support the teaching needs of the University is not normally retained once it ceases to be current and relevant. Reference works are not normally retained where the information is outdated, misleading or inaccurate, unless the specific edition has intrinsic historical or research value.

3.3 Where the Library holds the same work in multiple formats or copies, one format or copy may be selected for retention and the others withdrawn. 


3.4 Material which has become unusable in its current format is withdrawn and replaced with a usable format, where possible.

3.5 Appropriate preservation measures are applied to ensure that material which is intended to be retained can continue to be used without difficulty.

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4. Access

4.1 The Library's collections may be accessed by staff and students of the University. Other groups may also access the collections as far as licenses/contractual conditions permit.

4.2 The Library's collections are made available on open access whenever possible. However, access to certain materials may be mediated where:

  • space constraints do not permit open access
  • items are identified as valuable or rare
  • the physical nature or content of the material makes it vulnerable to damage or theft.

4.3 Special arrangements are made to provide access to materials in high demand.

4.4 The Library's collections are supplemented by providing access to document delivery and inter-library loan services for those eligible.

4.5 The Library will facilitate the searching of, and access to, its collections and resources.

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