Collection Development Practices in Academic Libraries: A Literature Review

  • Vincent T. Msonge* Institute of Finance Management (IFM), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania:


This study explores aspects that influence collection development in academic libraries. Collection development is an important activity in any library and information centre aimed at building relevant collections that meet user information needs. Moreover, it requires strong support and commitment from decision-makers in terms of funding, and stakeholder participation in the selection process. The method of selective review was employed to identify, document and present the relevant literature in a structured and annotated way. Several themes and sub-themes that influence collection development in libraries emerged: user needs, selection, acquisition, evaluation, de-selection, collection development policy, funding for collection development, resource sharing and consortia building. Librarians may use this review to understand collection development practices in academic libraries since there is a strong need for specific guidelines to assist libraries and librarians on collection development issues. Keywords: collection development, academic libraries, librarians, collection development process.

Keywords: collection development, academic libraries, librarians, collection development process.


Abdoulaye, K. & S. Majid, (2000), “Use of the Internet for Reference Services in Malaysian Academic Libraries,” Online Information Review,
24(5): 381–8.

Adams, B. & B. Noel, (2008), “Circulation statistics in the evaluation of collection development,” Collection Building, 27(2): 71–73.

Alemna, A.A., (1997), “The Future of Document Delivery for Developing Countries: A View fromWest Africa,” Inter lending & Document Supply,
25(1): 5–7.

Alemna, A.A., (1994), “Alternative Approaches to Funding University Libraries in Africa,” New Library World, 95(1112): 15–17.

Alidousti, S., (2001), Interlibrary Cooperation and Resource Sharing (in Persian), Iranian Scientific Information and Documentation Centre, Tehran.

Anderson, J., (1996), “Management of Art Library Collections and Extension of Services,” Library Management, 17(8): 17–22.

Andrade, D. & Vergueiro, W., (1996), “Collection Development in Academic Libraries: a Brazilian Library’s Experience,” New Library World, 97(1128): 15–24.

Bardley, P., (1997), Going Online, Aslib, London, CD-ROM and the Internet.

Boadi, B.Y., (2006), “Income-Generating Activities: A Viable Financial Source for African Academic Libraries?,” The Bottom Line: Managing
Library Finances, 19(2): 64–77.

Bombak, A., S. Campbell, K. Carter, T. James, M. McClary & P. Rempel, (1992), “University of Alberta Library: Electronic Journals Group
Report,” in E. Parang & L. Saunders (eds.), Electronic Journals in ARL Libraries, Issues and Trends: A SPEC Kit, Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries.

Bonk, S.C., (1990), “Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery in the United Kingdom,” Reference Quarterly, 30(2): 130–240.

Borin J. & H. Yi, (2008), “Indicators for Collection Evaluation: A New Dimensional Framework,” Collection Building, 27(4): 136–43.
Bouazza, A., (1986), “Resource Sharing among

Libraries in Developing Countries: The Gulf between Hope and Reality,” International Library Review, 18: 373–87.

Calvert, P.J., (1997), “Collection Development and Performance Measurement,” in G.E. Gorman & R.H. Miller (eds.), Collection Management for the 21st Century: A Handbook for Librarians, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT: 121–33.

Casserly, F., (2002), “Developing a Concept of Collection for the Digital Age,” Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 2(4): 577–87.

Chiweza, D., (1999), “The Impact of National Currency Devaluation, Cash Budget System and Information Technology on Document Supply in the University of Malawi: The Case of Chancellor College Library,” Paper presented at the 6th International Conference on Interlending and ocument Supply, Pretoria, 25–29 October.

Dowler, S.T., (1995), “The Research University’s Dilemma: Resource Sharing and Research in Transinstitutional Environment,” in S.K. Baker
& M.E. Jackson (eds.), The Future of Resource Sharing, New York: The Haworth Press.

Duranceau, E.F. (ed.), (1996), “Old Wine in New Bottles? Defining Electronic Serials,” Serials Review, 22(1): 69–79.

Erens, B., (1996), “How Recent Developments in Academic Libraries Affect Research,” Library Management, 17(8): 5–16.

Evans, G.E. & M.Z. Saponaro, (2012), Collection Management Basics, 6th ed., Santa Barbara: CA Libraries Unlimited.

—, (2005), Developing Library and Information Center Collections, 5th ed., Englewood: Libraries Unlimited,.

Evans, G.E. & M.R. Zarnosky, (2004), Developing Library and Information Centre Collections, 4th ed., Westport, Greenwood Village: Libraries

Ford, G., (1999), “Finance and Budgeting,” in C. Jenkins & M. Morley (eds.), Collection Management in Academic Libraries, Gower, Aldershot, pp. 36–69.

Georgetown College, (2010), Collection Development [online], Available from: http://library. georgetown
html [Accessed 30 August, 2016].

Gessesse, K., (2000), “Collection Development and Management in the Twenty-First Century with Specific Reference to Academic Libraries: An
Overview,” Library Management, 21(7): 365–372.

Gorman, G.E. & R. Miller, (2001), “Collection Evaluation: New Measures for a New Environment,” Advances in Librarianship, 25: 67–95.

Graham, M.E. & F. Buettel, (1990), Serials Management: A Practical Handbook. London: Aslib.

Gregory, V.L., (2011), Collection Development and Management for 21st Century Library Collections: An Introduction, New York/London: Neal-Schuman Publishers.

—, (2006), Selecting and Managing Electronic Resources, Revised ed., New York: Neal- Schuman Publishers.

Handis, M.W., (2007), “Practical Advice for Weeding in Small Academic Libraries,” Collection Building, 26(3): 84–87.

Hsieh, C. & R. Runner, (2005), “Textbooks, Leisure Reading, and the Academic Library,” Library Collections, Acquisitions and Technical
Services, 29(2): 192–204.

Intner, S.S., (2006), “Weeding, Collection Development, and Preservation,” Technicalities, 26(3): 14–18.

Johnson, P., (2014), Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management, 3rd ed., London: Facet Publishing.

Kammourie-Charara, H., (2005), “LALC: A Successful Challenge,” Paper presented in a workshop on Collaborative Management of Electronic Resources, Cairo. April 18–19.

Kasalu, S. & J.B. Ojiambo, (2012), “Application of ICTs in Collection Development in Private University Libraries in Kenya,” Collection
Building, 31(1): 23–31.

Khan, G. & R. Bhatti, (2016), “An Analysis Of Collection Development in the University Libraries,” Collection Building, 35(1): 22–34.

—, (2015), “Collection development policies and procedures in the University Libraries of Pakistan: A Provincial Perspective of Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa,” Library and Information Science Journal, 46(3): 45–54.

Kim, G., (2006), “Effect of Serial Characteristics and Library Environments on Serial Collection Decision in an Academic Health Science
Library,” Journal of the Korean Society for Information Management, 23(2): 245–262.

Law, D., (2006), “Wonders Never Cease,” Journal of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland, 4(3), http://eprints. 01/dereklaw.pdf. Retrieved on 19 January, 2016.

Lorenzen, M., (2009), “Information Policy as Library Policy: Intellectual Freedom,” Lecture # 20, Spring/Summer 2009, LIS 6010 WSU/LISP.

Lumande, E., A.A. Ojedokun, E.K. Lebotse & A.M. Mbangiwa, (2000), “Serials Selection at the University of Botswana,” Library Management, 21(7): 357–364.

Mandal, M. & K.C. Panda, (2005), “Collection Development in the Internet Age and the Need for Consortium in the Engineering College Libraries in West Bengal: A Study,” SRELs Journal of Information Management, 42(2): 155–72.

Mbughuni, A.S., (2004), “Exploiting Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Practices for Collection development in Libraries,” A
Paper Presented at Tanzania Library Association Seminar Held at Bwawani Hotel Zanzibar, 26th March, 2004.

McMurdo, G., (1997), “The Internet,” in A. Scammell (ed.), Handbook of Special Librarianship and Information Work, London: Aslib.

Mount Saint Vincent University Library (MSVUL), (1998), Collection Development Policy Manual [online]. Available from: library/ref/cdrpmv3.htm [Accessed 3 March, 2016].

Nisonger, T., (2003), Evaluation of Library Collections, Access and Electronic Resources: A Literature Guide and Annotated Bibliography, Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, p. xix.

Nyerembe, M.P., (2004), “Collection Development and Management in the ICT Age: An Overview,” A paper presented at Tanzania Library Association Seminar held at Bwawani Hotel, Zanzibar, 26th March, 2004.

Olaojo, P.O. & M.A. Akewukereke, (2006), “Collection Development Policies: Ground Rules for Planning University Libraries,” Library Philosophy and Practice, 9(1): 1–5.

Palmer, C.L., (1996), “Information Work at the Boundaries of Science: Linking Library Services to Research Practices,” Library Trends, 45(2):

Persons, N.A., (1998), “Virtually Yours: Models for Managing Electronic Resources and Services,” Library Acquisitions: Practice and Theory, 22(2):

Pors, N.O., (2003), “Managing Change in Danish Libraries,” The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 29(6): 411–15.

Reitz, J.M., (2013), “Online dictionary of Library and Information Science,” available at:

Russell, K., (1998), “The JISC Electronic Libraries Program,” Computer and the Humanities, 32: 353–7.

Scammell, A., (1997), “The Role of the Special Librarian in the Electronic Era,” in A. Scammell (ed.), Handbook of Special Librarianship and
Information Work, London: Aslib.

Siddiqui, M.A., (1995), “Resource Sharing through Interlibrary Loan Network among Gulf Academic Libraries: An Opinion Study”. Paper
Presented to an Annual Conference on ‘Strengthening Resource Sharing in Libraries and Information Centers in the Arabian Gulf Region’, El Ian, United Arab Emirates.

Singh, S.P., (2004), “Collection Management in the Electronic Environment,” The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances, 17(2).

Suresh-Kumar, N., (2003), “Collection Development in the State Central Library, Trivanduram: Anomalies and Remedies,” Kelpro Bulletin 7(2): 48–52.

Tucker, J.C. & M. Torrence, (2004), “Collection Development for New Libraries: Advice from the Trenches,” Library Collections, Acquisitions and
Technical Services, 28(4): 339–49.

University of Notre Dame, (2008) Hesburgh Libraries Collection Development Policy [online]. Available from: policy/ general_policy.shtml#Purpose [Accessed 30 November 2015].

Valencia Community College, (2008), New Library Materials [online]. Available from: http://
actice.cfm#def [Accessed 8 October 2016].

Vickery, J., (2004), “Making a Statement: Reviewing the Case for Written Collection Development Policies,” Library Management, 25(8/9): 337–342.
Vignau, B.S.S. & G. Meneses, (2005), “Collection

Development Policies in University Libraries: A Space for Reflection,” Collection Building, 24(1): 35–43.

Ward, D. & T.H. Teper, (2005), “Undergraduate Library Collections 40 Years Later: An Assessment of Use and Preservation Needs at the
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign,” Collection Management, 30(1): 9–27.

Wittenbach, S., (2005), “Restructuring Collection Development for Empowerment and Accountability,” Collection Building, 24(3): 83–6.
How to Cite
MSONGE*, Vincent T.. Collection Development Practices in Academic Libraries: A Literature Review. The African Journal of Finance and Management, [S.l.], v. 24, n. 1 & 2, mar. 2017. ISSN 0856-6372. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 25 june 2018.
African Journal of Finance and Management