Collection development


A copy of the Collection Development Policy is available on the Rules, Policies and Plans page.




Each year Subject Librarians consult course teams about what resources they need from the Library budget. Subject / Course Leaders can choose whether they want course staff to ask their Subject Librarian directly to order the books they require, or whether to put them all through via the Course Leader so that s/he can keep track of how the budget is being spent.

Subject Librarians will also order print and e-books that in their professional judgement will give balance to that subject area and fill in gaps in the collection. These may or may not be of direct relevance to the units currently on offer but will be chosen to ensure the collection as a whole remains relevant and current.

A list of books added to Library stock will be circulated annually. Subject Librarians will also circulate publishers’ catalogues during the year for staff to mark up what they would like to be ordered.

Books ordered will be supplied by our main supplier (Coutts) who not only give the Library a generous discount, but also supply the books partly processed (e.g. covers on paperback books), thereby saving staff time and increasing the lifespan of the collection. When individual staff request titles, they will be informed when the books are ready so they can be the first to borrow them, if desired.

In exceptional circumstance e.g. if they are required urgently, books may be ordered from suppliers such as Amazon. This is not a process which should be used to alleviate late ordering of books for imminent units. Course staff need to consider their book requirements in good time so that books can be ordered through normal channels. If too many books are ordered on short notice it means that Library staff have to do all of the processing on them and this causes a delay of all books arriving at this time reaching the shelves.


Patron Driven Acquisitions (PDA)


Each year we put some of the book budget aside and upload several thousand e-books in the areas of art, design, media and performance to our Library catalogue. If two people or more users access the e-book it triggers a purchase. The purchases come out of the money put aside for them and we are notified when we have spent it. We have the option to increase the budget allocated to this system or re-invest it the following year if there is a surplus.


Course validation and review


Subject Librarians can recommend resources for course units which are new or under review. They can also review reference lists for formatting, layout and content; but sufficient notice must be given to allow this to happen by a deadline.




Journals are ordered through a central Library budget. Requests for new titles go into the next budget bid unless a case is made, and accepted, for subscribing earlier, and funds can be found to do so. This will usually be through stopping an existing subscription which is no longer required.

Course teams are encouraged to regularly review existing journal titles for their course to see if there are any that are no longer required.




DVDs can be purchased from a central Library budget or the course budget. Requests are passed to the relevant Subject Librarian who then passes them to the member of staff responsible for ordering and processing DVDs.

If they are clearly for a particular course they will come out of the course budget, but the majority of DVDs are bought from the central budget in recognition of the fact that they are of potential value to students on more than one course.

DVDs will also be chosen by Subject Librarians to develop the collection and maintain its relevance and currency.


Off air recordings


These are provided through the Box of Broadcasts (BoB), database which enables staff and students to choose programmes to record: all the programmes in Bob have been requested by universities who subscribe to the collection.