Current Trends in Collection Development Practices and Policies

Publication Date


Document Type


Organizational Units

University Libraries


Academic libraries, Collection development, Policies, Practices, Survey, Trends



The purpose of this paper is to provide a snapshot of some major collections-related trends and issues in current academic libraries today. These include using collection development policies; demand-driven acquisition (DDA) models; big deals; using the collections budget; rationalizing legacy print collections; stewarding local digital collections; and demonstrating value.


A web survey was developed and sent to 20 academic librarians via e-mail during the summer of 2016, along with a statement on the purpose of the study.


The findings are as follows: the collections budget is used to fund many costs other than content (such as memberships and MARC records); most libraries are experimenting with DDA in one form or another; most libraries financially support open access investments; most libraries participate in at least one collaborative print rationalization project; and libraries have diverse methods of demonstrating value to their institutions.

Research Limitations/Implications

This was a very selective survey of North American academic libraries. Therefore, these findings are not necessarily valid on a broader scale.

Practical Implications

Within the limitations above, the results provide librarians and others with an overview of current practices and trends related to key issues affecting collection development and management in North America.


These results are quite current and will enable academic librarians engaged in collection development and management to compare their current policies and practices with what is presented here. The results provide a current snapshot of the ways in which selected libraries are coping with transformative challenges and a rapidly changing environment.

This document is currently not available here.