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A sample digital collection policy

Posted by Librarian/Information Professional on September 15, 2008

As I browsed the web, I came across the Digital Library Collection Development Policy at the Library at the University of Texas at Austin. Looking at this policy is helpful for me to see the determination for inclusion of objects in the digital collection at UT.

They have decided to use three broad areas:

  • things they have purchased,
  • things that have morphed into a new format,
  • and links to other locales away from the library.

How they selected? They used 4 areas,

  • content of “intellectual significance” Wow, I know what they intend. I wonder…
  • format is appropriate for the content. The example was a heavily used resource
  • practicality. I liked seeing this one, it asks is it financially feasible?
  • does it belong? This area is one that is often overlooked in collections. Does it fit in with the collection development plan?

There is much more, but the definitions are clear and there is the attempt to explain each step. It would be helpful if all libraries had a clearly defined collection development policy. Unfortunately, as I leaned in my collection development class, most libraries do not have an actual written policy. Scary!

This policy is helpful for my course in digital collections. It give my some criteria for evaluation of digital objects to include. This resource should prove to be helpful for my understanding in building my own collection.

University of Texas Libraries, Research Services Division, Austin, TX.

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