March 1

Comparing collection development and management definitions

As an exercise for ETL503, we were asked to find a definition of collection management or collection development or a statement regarding resourcing the curriculum, preferably from a governmental authority with which we are familiar, and compare it to those provided in the learning module. This was to be posted in the Discussion Forum for Module 1 into the embedded Padlet app.

It took me at least three tries to get my work into the app to my satisfaction, hopefully my cross-posting to the blog will be easier as it is gradually becoming a familiar process. Without further ado, the record of the task for my personal archive:

Comparison of definitions

The NSW Department of Education (2016) Library Policy – Schools labels libraries an essential resource within schools to support teaching and learning with reference to the syllabus and curriculum. It states their purpose is to provide resources for both teaching and for students’ independent learning and reading for pleasure. The development of a particular collection management policy in any given school is a responsibility shared by the principal and the teacher librarian and includes “provision of the information-related resources integral to the planning, implementation and evaluation of the curriculum of the school” (NSW Department of Education, 2016, section 1.3) along with physical and technical aspects of management such as budgeting, accessioning, de-accessioning and circulation of materials and caring for the physical condition of resources. This seems to cover a similar scope to the general definition of collection development presented at the beginning of the “What is involved in managing collections?” section of Module 1.1 (Combes, Fitzgerald & Croft, 2018) and even spread into the broader definitions of collection management that were described by Johnson and Van Zijl (as cited in Combes, et al., 2018).

The Handbook for school libraries (NSW Department of Education, 2015) gives further details about the practical applications of the role of the teacher librarian and also recommends the formation of a library committee to collaborate and support the formation and implementation of collection management policy in the school context. The details given in this document elaborate on qualities of collection development, such as: reflecting government policies on equity, support the curriculum with contemporary materials and being relevant to quality teaching and learning programs. It also gives pointers for management, for instance: operating relevant and efficient library systems, using Department resources for selecting, cataloguing and circulating resources and participating in resource sharing with external collections. This shares many points with the purposes put forward by the American Library Association (as cited in Croft, 2018). I found the New South Wales terminology more flexible, such as “relevant to quality teaching and learning programs” (NSW Department of Education, 2015, p.3) and the American more explicitly targeted, as in “promote active authentic learning” (American Library Association, as cited in Combes, et al., 2018). In my opinion, this reflects the greater respect for the professional judgement of teachers in the Australian context as compared to American that I have observed in my personal experience with schools in the Sydney and Washington, DC areas.


Combes, B., Fitzgerald, L., & Croft, T. (2018). Introduction: What is involved in managing collections? [ETL503 Module 1.1]. Retrieved March 1, 2018, from Charles Sturt University website:

NSW Department of Education. (2015). Handbook for school libraries. Retrieved from

NSW Department of Education. (2016). Library policy – schools (PD/2005/0221/V03). Retrieved from

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Posted March 1, 2018 by marikamum in category Collections, ETL503, Forum Post, Reflection

About the Author

Just another CSU MEdTL student creating a blog. When not studying, I write, teach and live with my husband and two high school children and our black Labrador retriever somewhere on the Lower North Shore of Sydney.

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