About the Acquisition and Collection Development Section


The Acquisition and Collection Development Section focuses on 1) the interrelated processes of collection development (planning and building a useful and balanced collection of library materials over a period of years) and 2) the acquisitions of library materials in all formats. 

Collection development is based on ongoing assessments of the information needs of library clientele, usage statistics analysis, and demographic projections. Collection development is often impacted by budgetary limitations. The processes of collection development include:

  • formulation of selection criteria
  • planning for and engaging in resource sharing (i.e., cooperative decision-making within library consortia or with other libraries)
  • planning for and implementing new collections or collection areas (including patron-initiated recommendations)  
  • replacement of lost or damaged items
  • selection and de-selection decisions
  • evaluation of options for access (e.g., format choice, rights management, license restrictions, consortial requirements)

These processes are guided by collection development policies that establish priorities and facilitate decision making on what is acquired.

The activities associated with the acquisition of materials in all formats by purchase, exchange, gift, or legal or copyright deposit, include:

  • ordering, receiving, claiming, and payment
  • selecting and evaluating supply sources 
  • negotiating pricing
  • licensing of digital resources

Specialized interests of the Section include ownership vs. access, open access content, resource scholarly communication, publisher and vendor relationships, and taking advantage of latest technologies to facilitate collection development and acquisitions.

The Section works closely with the Sections on Serials and Other Continuing Resources and Document Delivery and Resource Sharing along with any advisory committees within IFLA that facilitate discussions between libraries and publishers and/or producers of digital resources. The Section is flexible in formulating its goals and responsive to changing conditions in the professional environment and in the information industry. The Section works to integrate its goals with the IFLA Strategic Framework and IFLA priorities.

The Section is sponsoring: LGBTQ Users Special Interest Group and Library Publishing Special Interest Group.

Mailing list

ACQUIS-L: Acquisitions & Collection Development Section Standing Committee Mailing List is a closed electronic discussion list for members of the Standing Committee. The list is intended to facilitate discussion of and action on matters of interest to the Standing Committee. It provides a necessary and timely way for the Standing Committee to conduct its business in addition to what can be accomplished during the scheduled meetings at the Annual Conference. Messages intended for distribution to the list should be sent to: lillyho@gmail.com

Acquisition and Collection Development

Last update: 30 June 2021