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Collections: Policy

Dublin Business School Library Collection Development Policy

Last Updated August 2020

  1. Aim of the Collection Development Policy

The Library Collection Development Policy provides a framework for the development and management of the Library Collections. It ensures that the collections are developed in accordance with the Library Mission Statement

  1. Library Mission Statement

“The mission of the Dublin Business School Library is to provide efficient, appropriate and effective information services to facilitate the learning, teaching and research objectives of the College.”

  1. Principles for collection development

Collection development is the process by which the library assesses, selects, and withdraws material. The Library Collection is developed with the following principles in mind at all times:

  • Equitable access to the Library collection should be available for all registered Library users

  • Input is desirable from both academic staff and the student body

  • Collection development should be in line with strategic and academic developments in the college, developments in the library and information sector, developments in the publishing sector, and technological developments

  1. Allocation by format

Material is acquired by the library in a range of media across all subject areas. There should be an effective combination of print, non-print and electronic resources.  Separate annual budget allocations are made for the following formats: electronic databases; electronic journals; print journals; print books; eBooks; and audiovisual material. Expenditure for print books, eBooks, and audiovisual material is tracked using the library management system.

  1. Book allocation by subject

Within the print book budget separate budgets are then allocated to particular subject areas with regard given to student numbers on courses and costs of books for particular subject areas.

  1. New Programmes

Additional finance may also be allocated towards the provision of materials for new programmes.

Final decisions for the purchase of all library materials rest with the library. The criteria below are applied to all purchases and donations which are being considered.  Any donations received which are not added to the collections may be sold, exchanged or discarded at the discretion of the library.

General selection criteria for all resources

  1. Relevance to current curriculum or new programmes
  2. Level of information appropriate for library users
  3. Should add depth or breadth to the existing collection
  4. Quality of information – content should come from an authoritative author or publisher
  5. Currency of information
  6. Format – see section 4
  7. Price
  8. Language

Additional selection criteria for electronic resources

  1. Access model – the preferred access model for all electronic resources is multiple simultaneous user access. Access should be available by IP authentication and remote access should be available with username and password authentication. Additionally in the case of eBooks perpetual access is required.
  2. Accessibility – with accessibility in mind the library makes an effort to forge links with vendors who are also committed to providing additional methods of accessing material for users with disabilities. They may include facilities for text to speech conversion, text magnification or allowing user interface preferences.
  3. Accuracy and completeness – where a print format is also available the electronic resource should have all the illustrations, graphs and tables that the print format would have
  4. Functionality – must have user-friendly interface  including menus, help functions, tutorials, search options, export options (email, printing, downloading), good response time
  5. Vendor support – vendor should be established and reliable and should provide: training and demonstrations; technical and customer support; and statistical reporting
  6. Trial period – should be arranged for any electronic database and usage statistics and feedback from academic staff following trial period should together with other selection criteria inform decisions regarding purchase
  7. Pricing – where possible it is incumbent on the Head of Library Services to source effective pricing models that are aligned to the size of the actual user community for specialised resources and not based on the total user population of the college. The Head of Library Services actively seeks consortial purchasing opportunities. For electronic resources pricing should not greatly exceed a print equivalent and any additional costs should be reflected in increased functionality and accessibility.
  8. Licensing – authorised users should be defined as broadly as possible to include staff, student, and on-site users. Authorised sites should be defined as broadly as possible to allow access from anywhere via the college’s secure network. License should permit fair use of all information for educational, instructional, and research purposes by authorised users.
  1. Electronic formats

Priority is given to material in electronic format where available as this dramatically increases accessibility of material. The library’s electronic access model requires both multiple simultaneous user access and remote access for material in electronic formats.

  • The library subscribes to a number of online databases and aggregators through which users can access a large range of journals. A small number of eJournals are also purchased individually on an annual basis in preference to the print version of a journal. These subscribed resources are reviewed on an annual basis and only renewed if they remain relevant to user needs and have adequate usage.
  • In the case of eBooks a further requirement in addition to the electronic resources access model above is perpetual access. EBook versions of textbooks are purchased where available to support flexible learning and increase accessibility. Access models for eBooks in order of preference are: unlimited user access - DRM free, unlimited user access; credit model; and then user licenses. Where only individual user licenses are available at least 2 licenses should be obtained where the title is on a reading list and usage monitored to determine if additional user licenses are required. When none of the above eBook access models is available the library may purchase a copy of the Kindle eBook where it is available to download to at least 5 of the library’s Kindle devices.
  • In addition to subscribed/purchased content the library collections also contain DBS produced material. Research conducted by students (e.g. dissertations) and academic staff (e.g. journal articles) is uploaded to the institutional repository ( subject to consent and quality control.
  • Exam papers for the college are supplied to the library from the Exams Office. These are collated by the Acquisitions Librarian and uploaded to the virtual learning environment (Moodle).

  1. Print formats
  • Print monographs are generally bought in paperback format to reduce costs. However, if the intention is to retain them for many years or if a paperback version is not available, then a hardback version may be purchased. Core textbooks on reading lists are purchased in the ratio of 1 to 10 students. Data from the college’s student management system is used in this calculation. EBook versions are purchased where available and due to this increased level of access the ratio for print becomes 1 to 15. Also purchase of the eBook means there is not a requirement for a print reference copy of core texts. There is a cap of 15 copies of any book (this may be exceeded only occasionally: where there are large student numbers on a course; where there is no eBook version available; and where demand for the text is high). Books costing more than €100 may be purchased in reduced quantities. Out of print materials are acquired only as necessary. Loantypes for print materials include reference only, 3-day loan (for law collection only), 7-day loan and 2-week loan and are assigned based on the expected usage of the items. Reading list books are assigned as 7-day loans or less.
  • A print version of each set of exam papers was produced from the online exam papers up to 2013 . These papers are bound and held in the reference section in the library. Since 2013 exam papers are made available online only.
  • Print serials/journals are reviewed on an annual basis and only renewed if an online version is not available and if they remain relevant to the needs of users. Recommendations for new serial titles are considered.
  • The Library may subscribe to looseleaf services in select areas (e.g. Law) that support the curriculum. Looseleaf materials are selected only if alternative formats are unavailable

  1. Audio-Visual materials

Considerations of availability of equipment and facilities inform format choice. Material available only in outdated formats should not be purchased. The current preferred format is online streaming. Where a title is needed for a module and is not available from an online streaming provider it may be purchased on DVD. For DVDs the preferred regions are region 2 or region 0. All film DVDs are 7-day loan for students and 2-week loan for staff. DVDs to be used as teaching aids are no longer acquired. However, past acquisitions of teaching aids are still retained on restricted access. A portion are restricted access, meaning that they can be borrowed by staff but can only be viewed by students in the library, and the rest are now available for 7-day loan to students.

New acquisitions are chosen using the following aids:

  1. Reading Lists

The majority of material is selected in response to reading lists received directly from academic staff or students or downloaded from the online reading list software ( or the virtual learning environment (Moodle).

  1. Academic staff requests

Academic staff may also make requests for additional non-reading list material to be acquired to broaden the collection. In this case usually only 1 or 2 copies are acquired.

  1. Student requests

Students may also make requests for additional material to be acquired but the decision to purchase such material depends on its usefulness to other library users.

  1. Review of reservations reports and inter-library loan requests

During term-time monthly reviews of reservation reports (numbers of reservations and average waiting times) are checked to ensure enough copies of texts in demand are available. Inter-library loan requests for books are checked at the end of the academic year to ensure there are no gaps in the collection for a particular subject area.

  1. Library selection

The Acquisitions Librarian may select additional material from catalogues etc. in order to add to depth and breadth to the existing collections in each subject area and to keep the collection up-to-date.

  1. New editions

New editions of current textbooks and eBooks are also obtained as they become available to ensure the currency of the collection.

  1. Annual reports, catalogues, telephone directories as these may be found online.
  2. Videos are no longer purchased as this format is now out of date.
  3. Spiral bound publications due to their less durable format are only purchased where there is no hardback or paperback version available.
  4. All courses in DBS are taught through English so books are only purchased in English (unless there is a foreign language module on a course or something is deemed necessary by academic staff and is not available in English).
  5. Dissertation and theses in print format are no longer accepted in the library as electronic versions of these are now received and uploaded to the institutional repository, eSource.
  6. Print newspapers are no longer acquired.
  1. Deselection

An annual evaluation of the collection is undertaken to ensure that it remains relevant to users’ needs and that the best use is made of the available space. Items may be deselected or withdrawn from the collection if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Item is worn out/damaged
  • Item has been superseded by a more recently published item or has become out of date
  • Print item is now available online
  • Item has not been used by library users for a period of time

Little used items that still have the potential for future use are stored in the library’s archive areas.

  1. Preservation

All paperback items are covered using Ryco book covers to maximise their durability. Items whose covers or pages have become loose are repaired by library desk staff where possible.

  1. Replacements

Items are considered for replacement when

  • They have been declared missing and are still in demand
  • They are damaged beyond repair and in demand

Library users that have been responsible for the loss or damage of library material are liable for the cost of replacing such material.

  1. Deselection

An annual evaluation of the collection is undertaken to ensure that it remains relevant to users’ needs and that the best use is made of the available budget. Monitoring and analysis of electronic collections usage is also carried out to inform decisions regarding subscription renewals

  1. Preservation

This is normally managed by the vendor. Electronic material held locally by the college will be preserved with due consideration to best practice.

Effort should be made to alert users to the presence of electronic databases; electronic journals; print journals; print books; eBooks; and audiovisual material to encourage usage. This may be done using the following methods:

  • Library Website (
  • EBSCO Discovery Service
  • Library Catalogue (
  • Online reading lists (
  • Institutional repository (
  • Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle)
  • Library News ( and social media
  • Academic Staff – emails, open days, staff inductions, table of contents service
  • Student inductions, library classes
  • New titles lists, newsletters, RSS feeds
  • Posters, Guides, Displays
  • Use of stickers and dummy book covers in the print collection to advertise eBooks

This collection development policy will be reviewed annually and revised as necessary.

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