May 15

Comparing Library Collection Development Policies

Examine and compare a number of models of collection policies to gather ideas for writing your own.

To complete this task, I examined the two Australian links provided in the course material and searched for a new Collection Development Policy (CDP) online to compare policy elements with the recommendations. After a quick search, I discovered the Geelong Regional Library CDP.

There were a number of similar elements that appeared across each model, although they were presented in different ways. For example, VCTL and ALIA (2017, p. 8) recommended the inclusion of a rationale that linked to the school’s vision and values. The State Library of Queensland (SLQ) (2013, p. 1) did not use the term ‘rationale’ but recommended that the CDP be aligned to the Strategic Plan and provided a statement on how the collection supported the library’s role. The Geelong Regional Library CDP was very explicit in its outline of context, with a clear statement on vision, mission, goals and values (2014, pp. 5-6).

Other elements that were included in the models and policy example were dates for review, scope of resources, parameters of the collection, what to do with donations, how to deal with challenges and controversial resources, and collection evaluation. The VCTL and ALIA model recommended including a date of ratification (p. 9). While the Geelong Regional Library CDP didn’t provide an exact date, it did include a comprehensive outline of how the CDP came to be and how it fits with the library’s context and rationale (p. 4). From this, it is clear when the policy was implemented. VCTL and ALIA also suggested including the “personnel responsible for selection and the types of resources held” (p. 8). The Geelong Regional Library CDP was quite succinct in outlining responsibilities (p. 7).

One section that I couldn’t find in either of the models was stakeholder engagement. The Geelong Regional Library CDP included a detailed statement on how to engage with its stakeholders and community (p. 7).


Geelong Regional Library Corporation. (2014). Geelong regional library collection development policy 2014-17. Retrieved from

State Library of Queensland. (2013). Queensland public library standards and guidelines: Library collections standard August 2013. Retrieved from

VCTL & ALIA. (2017). A manual for developing policies and procedures in Australian school library resource centres (2nd ed.). Retrieved from

April 9

Funding and Budget Proposals

Should teacher librarians have the responsibility of submitting a budget proposal to fund the library collection to the school’s senior management and/or the school community? Or should such proposals come from a wider group such as a school library committee?

O’Connell (2017, p. 383) states that “It is the responsibility of the teacher librarian or resource teacher in collaboration with teachers and other professional staff to resource the curriculum.” The keyword in this case is collaboration. With more people involved in the decision-making process, there is a greater chance that the budget proposal, and resulting library collection, will be more attuned to the learning community’s needs. The teacher librarian should oversee the process and have the final say, but it is a good idea to seek information about where the collection might be lacking from a range of stakeholders.

So, budget proposals should come from a school library committee or similar group, although, since they have the final say, the teacher librarian may actually hand in the proposal to the relevant authority.

Is it preferable that the funding for the school library collection be distributed to teachers and departments so they have the power to determine what will be added to the library collection?

Again, collaboration is critical when developing the library collection. However, based on experiences as a classroom teacher, finding the time to search for, analyse and justify new resources for the library collection will be challenging. Sure, teachers and departments should be able to make requests for certain resources, or types of resources, but distributing the financial figures and giving teachers the power to choose what goes into the library might not work. What if, the following year, the teacher moves on to another school, and they were the only stakeholder to lobby for a particular resource?


O’Connell, J. (2017). School libraries. In Abdullahi, I. (Ed.), Global library and information science: A textbook for students and educators. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Saur

April 2

Are School Librarians an Endangered Species?

Bonanno’s glass half full approach to the TL’s position in the Australian education landscape is inspiring.

“Well funded and adequately staffed school libraries directly impact student achievement” (Bonanno, 2015, p. 17). Teacher librarians are an asset, as long as we showcase our value within our school community and context, continue to up-skill and improve (even if only for 5 minutes each day), and build strong relationships within and beyond our circle of influence.

No, school librarians are not an endangered species, unless we choose to be.


Bonanno, K. (2015). A profession at the tipping point (revisited). ACCESS, 29(1), 14-21. Retrieved from