Evaluating the role and impact of Hull Libraries' Collection Development Policy on collection development

  • Naomi Smith

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Economic and Social Studies


UK public libraries’ collections are fundamental to their purpose of providing access to information that support the diverse needs of their heterogeneous communities. Developing, maintaining and managing a responsive collection for these changing needs efficiently and professionally, with space and financial constraints, can be time consuming and challenging. This dissertation’s aim focused on the nature and administration of Hull Libraries’ Collection Development Policy (CDP) and its impact on collection development. The objectives evaluated its purpose, scope and contents before examining how it was formulated, administered and promoted in a work environment. Finally the CDP’s impact on collection development was evaluated. This dissertation met its research aim through a study of the relevant literature and a practical research study, employing a case study approach at Hull Libraries. Hull Libraries’ CDP and semi-structured interviews with key personnel, two librarians identified through purposive sampling, provided the data for the thematic coding analysis and findings. This study found the CDP’s purposes aligned with the literature,
forming two main groups of informing and guidance. These included planning,
protection, justification, parent organisation support, and communication purposes. The scope and content resembles the National Acquisitions Group (NAG) model developed for UK public libraries, focusing on guidance for the collection life cycle within a legal framework rather than including a budget, organisational or community overview. The CDP was developed collaboratively in-house and is reviewed annually. Although promotion and accessibility is limited, it is consulted and embedded in work practices. Hull Libraries’ CDP formally documents its theoretical and practical approach to collection development, informing both internal and external audiences. Collection
development decisions implementing the framework’s guidance are transparent, whilst simultaneously protecting and justifying them. This contributes to a responsive collection, protected from censorship, with accountable and designated standards developed efficiently to support its community’s information needs
Date of Award2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorRaymond Edward Lonsdale (Supervisor) & Pauline Rafferty (Supervisor)

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