Collection Development Policy

The collection development policy here is intended to document the scope and extent of current collection building and to create a basis for ongoing conversations between librarians, faculty, and students regarding the selection and retention of library materials. It articulates a set of collecting priorities which must remain dynamic to ensure that SOUL continues to meet the current and future needs of this scholarly community within the constraints of its materials budget.  SOUL always welcomes suggestions from its readers.

 The policy consists of the following:

  4. SCOPE



1.1 Purpose

The purpose of the Collection Development Policy is to provide a framework for the development and maintenance of library collections at O6U to indicate priorities, to establish selection criteria across the range of different subjects, languages and media and to create a consistent and coherent basis for the future development of the collections.

The policy is used to:

  • Guide the selection, acquisition, maintenance and provision of access to scholarly information for the O6U community.
  • Inform O6U of strategic directions and practices in collection development at O6U.
  • Ensure that the selection and management of resources meets the learning, teaching, and research needs of O6U.

1.2 Aim

The aim of the Collection Development Policy is to provide a framework for the maintenance and development of SOUL’s collections, to indicate priorities, to establish selection criteria across the range of different subjects, languages and media and to create a consistent and coherent basis for the future development of the collections.

The policy is a planning document and as such reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

  1. Vision and Mission Statement

2.1 Vision

SOUL’s collections of scholarly information and the services and systems to support them, provide client-focused, access to local and worldwide information resources. These meet the information needs of students and staff, and enhance the attainment of the learning, teaching, and research goals of O6U. The selection of quality resources which are made accessible via SOUL and a range of electronic interfaces and repositories ensure O6U receives excellent value for money from its investments.

2.2 Mission

The mission of SOUL is to deliver information services to meet the needs of the local and national scholarly community and to support O6U’s mission to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.

It will achieve this through:

  • the acquisition, organization and dissemination of library materials in all formats,
  • support for the exploitation by users of the rich and diverse collections,
  • the development of a highly motivated, knowledgeable and skilled staff , and
  • the preservation and housing of the collection for the coming generations, i.e. the cost-effective management of resources.
  1. Strategic Directions

Strategic directions for the development of scholarly information collections at SOUL include:

3.1 Focus on the development of individual campus strengths.

3.2 Focus on research.

3.3 Further development of electronic collections.

  1. Scope

4.1 The policy is an inclusive statement of aims rather than a description of the collections which have been built up in the past. It sets out SOUL’s aspirations, which are intended to be realistic rather than utopian. Implementation is dependent on the availability of resources.

4.2 The policy provides guidance to staff engaged in selection. It is not exhaustive in its provisions and not every item considered for acquisition will be unambiguously included or excluded by the policy. In the past much has depended on an individual’s knowledge, experience, common sense or intuition and this will continue to be so. The collection development policy complements these qualities.

4.3 It is intended to provide information to staff, suppliers and to readers about the principles on which the collections are acquired, to create an awareness of the objectives and to form the basis for future developments and modifications as circumstances require.

4.4 SOUL upholds the principle of free speech and does not discriminate against material on the grounds of race, religion, sex, political controversy or social acceptability. Serious books or periodicals falling within the normal criteria for selection but expressing opinions or containing illustrations which might be considered blasphemous, offensive or distasteful are acquired, subject to any legal restrictions.

  1. General Principles

5.1 A single integrated collection of scholarly information

The print resources available in SOUL and the electronic resources available via SOUL’s secure network are managed as a single integrated collection according to common principles and practices.

5.2 Scholarly information

The collection of scholarly information will support the vision, purpose, values and priorities of O6U.

5.3 Access to the Collections

  1. SOUL’s collections are made available for use in a variety of ways. Items may be used on SOUL premises by anyone who is a registered user of SOUL; for admission rules.
  2. Items that are particularly rare or valuable, or limited editions, may be subject to use only under supervision. In cases where SOUL holds both a printed and digital copy of a newspaper, serial and monograph, use of digital copy is the preferred option.
  3. Library items may be copied in accordance with copyright law. Reproductions of items from the library’s collections are available.
  4. All material acquired for SOUL’s collection is catalogued in conformity with accepted bibliographical standards including the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2).
  5. Selection of Scholarly Information

6.1 Responsibility for Selection

Scholars and research staff are responsible for the selection and purchasing of individual resource items such as books, journals, and learning tools and are responsible for providing advice on the purchase of higher cost resources. The responsibility for selection lies with the Librarians.

The Director is responsible for providing strategic directions in collection development, development of policy and budgets, tender processes, contract and license negotiations, and the selection of high cost resources.

6.2 Selection Principles

The following principles apply to the selection of all scholarly information.

Selection of the content is made by Library staff in collaboration with academic staff. University staff and students may make recommendations for the purchase of library materials. The final decision for purchasing scholarly information rests with the manager of information services of SOUL.

6.3 Selection Criteria

SOUL has two major priorities when developing the collection of scholarly information:

(a) To support the teaching aims of coursework programs at O6U.This includes the provision of reference materials, set texts and recommended reading material in all format.

(b) To build research collections for fields in which O6U supports graduate, post graduate and academic research. Under normal circumstances, for this category of scholarly information, permanent archival access will be purchased. As it is not possible for SOUL to purchase all scholarly information in areas pertinent to University programs, Library selectors apply the following selection criteria when evaluating titles to be added or removed from the collection Particular criteria assume greater or lesser importance depending on the type of material under consideration, the resources available, and the alignment to University priorities:

  • Relevance

Library selectors maintain close ties with the academy Research activities, grants and curriculum are monitored to allow selectors to anticipate and provide for the content requirements of academics and students Selectors will gauge each acquisition in terms of the breadth and depth of content required for each user group. The selectors will collect important general material related to the teaching and research needs or interests of O6U community and selectively acquire more specialized material.

  • Depth of Existing Collection

When considering the purchase of new material, a selector will consider the strengths and weaknesses of the existing collection.

  • Quality

The quality of a title is evaluated by collectively weighing up several subjective factors: the scholarship; level of creativity; lasting value; reputation of the author; the publisher; the contributors; the editorial board; the quality and importance of the illustrations; bibliographies included etc. Each of these factors is considered as they contribute to or detract from the overall quality of the item under consideration.

  • Price

The value of material cannot be measured simply by price however the price must be considered in addition to all other selection criteria.

  • License Terms

Scholarly information will not be purchased where O6U cannot meet the license terms or where acceptable license terms cannot be negotiated.

  • Paperback preferred

O6U has a paperback preferred policy for printed material.

  • Currency

Many disciplines require up to date information, so preference is given to titles which report new and revised information in a timely manner.

  1. Formats of Scholarly Information

7.1 Journals

SOUL has an electronic preferred policy Electronic journal have the advantage of being available as well as print versions will be maintained.

SOUL staff reviews databases subscriptions on an annual basis before renewal.

7.2 Newspapers

SOUL collects newspapers for a number of reasons:

(a) Provide access to news and current affairs.

SOUL subscribes to a number of print newspapers.

(b) Provide access to general news mainly in Arabic language.

7.3 Print Books

Print books are selected for purchase by SOUL staff in collaboration with academic and research staff.

Books are not selected from book stores nor are they generally accepted by preview from academics SOUL has a paperback preferred policy.

7.4 Non-Book Material

Selection of non-book materials follows the same selection criteria as all other content

Additional considerations include:

  • License conditions, where they exist, should apply to libraries (and not just individuals) and provide suitable access.
  • Content should be purchased in the most contemporary format e.g. DVD rather than VHS video tape where possible.
  • Where available, media with subtitles or transcripts is preferred to increase the accessibility of this material to people with disabilities
  1. Collection Management

8.1 Evaluation of Collections

The O6U collection of scholarly information is evaluated to ensure its capacity to support the learning, teaching and research requirements of O6U and to determine its currency, completeness and validity.

The collection is usually evaluated in response to:

  • The development of new academic programs and courses.
  • The realignment or relocation of academic groups or parts thereof.
  • Program accreditations.
  • Preparation of Subject Based Information Resource Plans.
  • Development of weeding plans.
  • Trials and purchases of major new databases.
  • Subscription renewals.
  • Usage statistics.

Library collections are reviewed and weeded on an annual basis.

The following considerations are taken into account to identify item for de-selection:

  • Material which does not meet the teaching, learning and research needs of O6U.
  • Student and academic population.
  • Materials for which there is no demand or no expected demand.
  • Material in poor physical condition and beyond repair, particularly where there is a risk of contamination of other material.
  • Outdated, incorrect material (incorrect medical information); outdated IT information.
  • Multiple copies of previous editions where the newer edition is held retaining one copy of the previous editions exceptions to this policy may be identified in the discipline of law and art.
  • Low use material.
  • Isolated issues or incomplete runs of ceased or cancelled serials.
  • Material used to support learning & teaching and research needs of schools or research centers that have subsequently closed.
  • Print material where an electronic version is available.
  • Materials in outdated format or for which no access equipment is available (Beta format videos).
  • Space available in SOUL.

8.2 Language

The major part of the holdings is in the Arabic language.

Books in languages other than Arabic are normally acquired only if they fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  • when they relate to the culture of the language area concerned
  • when they are works by an acknowledged expert in the field
  • when coverage in Arabic, or in the language appropriate to the area, is generally perceived to be inadequate, or to be inappropriate in the case of less accessible languages
  • when the main library’s coverage approaches comprehensiveness.
  • when it appears that the author is making an important and original contribution to the subject.
  • when the College accept courses in other language.

8.3 Stocktake and Missing Items

Stocktaking procedures are intended to maintain the quality, integrity and accessibility of the physical collections specifically they:

  • Ensure missing and damaged items are identified by library staff.
  • Provide a notification for staff to re-purchase items as appropriate.
  • Alert clients of missing items in the collection.
  • Help staff maintain SOUL Catalogue as an accurate record of the collections.

8.4 Repair of Damaged Materials

Print monographs, serials and non-book items may become damaged due to high or inappropriate use, accident, degradation, disaster, or malicious intent. Damage adversely affects the value of the item and its usefulness to clients, and thus its suitability for inclusion in the collection. SOUL will usually replace damaged items in preference to repairing them. Damaged items may however be temporarily removed from the collection for the purpose of repair. Generally only minor repairs are undertaken. Damaged items that cannot be bound or repaired will be discarded.

Generally, the collection provides a range of physical and online materials supporting curriculum studies and classroom teaching for staff and students in the Faculty of Education Items are selected to encourage innovation in teaching and learning.

The collection focuses on materials in current formats, in Arabic and English languages, and supporting O6U curriculum with the curriculum of other universities.

  1. Gift Policy

Acquiring materials through gifts is part of the selection process. SOUL welcomes gifts of monographs, journals and other materials appropriate to the collection.

It will accept donations provided they fall within the current collection priorities Acceptance of large donations must be approved by the Director. Donations are accepted on the clear understanding that SOUL has the right to determine what is kept and what is discarded, and where items will be located. Only items that will enhance the collection are accepted. Gifts are acknowledged  by sending a letter to  the donator.

Criteria for Accepting Donations

Donated material will only be accepted by SOUL where the material is consistent with the current Collection Development Policy and directly contributes to the support of learning & teaching and research within O6U.

  • SOUL reserves the right at all times to reject donated materials.
  • SOUL will discard unwanted donations.
  • SOUL will acknowledge the donor of all newly accepted donations.
  • SOUL reserves the right to determine the location of all accepted donation.
  • Materials which represent duplicates of already held material will not normally be accepted.
  • Resources may not be accepted where special preservation requirements exist.
  • Resources that are not in good physical condition may not be accepted.
  • Where it is impracticable to contact the donor of unsolicited donations the material treated as if the donor has accepted the above conditions.


Selection for purchase is generally made by specialist staff, thus providing continuity, consistency and breadth of coverage. SOUL welcomes recommendations from faculties and departments, including for books on reading lists, and from individual library users. Recommendations may be rejected if they fall outside the selection criteria described in this document or on the grounds of cost, particularly when a continuing financial commitment, such as a periodical subscription, is involved.