Reflections on collection policies in NSLA libraries

In late 2019, NSLA members requested a joint review of our collection development policies (CDPs). Seven NSLA libraries were poised to re-draft their policies and all nine were set to embark on a scoping exercise for a collaborative approach to web archiving. There was a need to ascertain overall gaps in our collections and consider again what libraries could be collecting together and what separately, with the immediate aim of informing the web archiving scope, and the broader aim of understanding our collecting practices more clearly from a national perspective. Our response to collecting COVID-19, immediately following collecting on the 2019-2020 bushfires, provides a useful case study.

Given that the majority of NSLA libraries are in the process of making significant changes to their CDPs, this is not a formal, quantitative or survey-based report. It is a reflective report based on observations shared during nine online interviews with collection managers in each NSLA library. It considers:

  • The CDP (the document itself)
  • Current practice and context
  • Collection diversity and community engagement
  • Gaps in collections
  • Web collecting: present and future.