Library Collection Development Guidelines


These guidelines are intended to inform all users about the selection of materials by the Library. The Library builds a collection of relevant resources to meet the current needs of the University community within the finite and fluctuating nature of our fiscal resources.


These guidelines apply to all materials owned by and housed in the Library, and electronic resources to which the Library subscribes/provides access. It covers all formats (print, electronic, microform, and audio-visual) in the collections of the Brock University Library, including the Map, Data, & GIS Library and Archives & Special Collections.


Please refer to the Brock University Library’s Donations Policy for details.


Please refer to Brock University’s Copyright webpage for details.

Open Access

The Library is committed to the widest possible dissemination of scholarly knowledge. The Library will make efforts to support a variety of open access projects. Please refer to the Brock University Library’s Open Access webpage for details.

Selection Process

Recommendations for the purchase of materials are accepted from faculty, staff and students, but final responsibility for the selection of library resources lies with Collections Services Librarians.

Decisions regarding acquisition of all resources are based on the priorities and criteria in these guidelines.

Requests for new electronic resources (excluding individually purchased ebooks) require a completed Information Resource evaluation form. The Library’s Collections Working Group assesses these requests based on the following criteria:


  • Support of academic curriculum
  • Support of the research interests of faculty and students
  • Support of transdisciplinary scholarship
  • Support of the collection development process
  • Support for the Brock community


Availability of material via other Ontario libraries, electronic full text databases, etc.

Budget considerations

The Library applies consistent practices and priorities in the expenditure of its resources through analysis of use, demand, relevancy and format.


The Library primarily collects English language resources and acquires materials in other languages to support the specific needs of academic departments.

Multiple Copies

The purchase of multiple copies is at the discretion of Collections Services Librarian.

Acquisition of Materials


When possible, resources are acquired through regional (OCUL) or national (CRKN) consortia.

Book Suppliers

Books are primarily acquired through one of two large book suppliers.

Direct Purchasing

The Library acquires materials directly from vendors where appropriate.

Type of Material


  • Ebooks
    • Ebooks are purchased through packages, individually, on approval, or user driven programs.  Ebook platforms must be AODA-compliant.
  • Print Books
    • Print books are bought individually or on approval.
  • Out-of-Print (O/P)
    • When required, the Library will attempt to find used or out-of-print books if new books are not available.
  • Textbooks
    • Textbooks may be acquired at the discretion of the Collections Services Librarian.
  • Collection of Record
    • Attempts will be made to collect all English language books relating to Oenology and Viticulture in print. Titles in this collection will not be deselected.

Journals, Magazines, Newspapers and Databases

  • Journals and magazines are acquired through packages, individually or as part of full-text databases.
  • Back files of periodicals are considered on a title-by-title basis and as funds become available.
  • The Library acquires a limited number of hardcopy newspapers covering local news. Access to regional, national and international newspapers are available through databases.
  • The Library provides access to a variety of types of databases (e.g. full-text, indexing, numerical), as well as discovery infrastructure

Software and Scholarly Infrastructure

  • The Library acquires tools and software packages to support the research lifecycle.

Video and Sound Resources

  • Physical media is purchased on a title-by-title basis.
  • Online streaming is purchased through packages, individually, or user driven programs.

Format of Materials

Materials may be available in more than one format (e.g. print, electronic, audio). Factors taken into consideration in deciding which format(s) will be purchased and / or retained are:

  • amount of use
  • ease of use
  • cost
  • availability to remote users
  • availability to simultaneous users
  • preservation
  • frequency of updating
  • illustrative and colour content of original

Multiple formats may be purchased at the discretion of the Collections Services Librarian.

Other Materials

Theses and Dissertations

Most Brock University graduate theses can be found online via the Brock University Digital Repository. For more information about finding theses, including print and those produced outside of Brock, please read the Theses and Dissertations Guide.

Government Documents

Please refer to the Government and Legal Information webpage for more information.


Microfilm and microfiche are purchased if the material is only available in those formats.


Electronic reference material is preferred.

Other Collections

Archives & Special Collections

Please refer to the Archives & Special Collections webpage for more information.

Map, Data and GIS Collection

Please refer to the Maps, Data & GIS webpage for more information.

Course Readings (Reserve Collection)

Course readings are comprised of high-demand materials selected by instructors to support current courses and other heavily used items on short-term loan.

Digital Repository

The Digital Repository contains a collection of unique items created by members of the Brock University community, which includes:

  • Major research papers
  • Theses
  • Publications and manuscripts
  • Environmental Sustainability Research Centre materials
  • Archives & Special Collections.

Badger Books Collection

The Badger Books collection features wellness and health related titles, bestselling fiction, and crafting books.

Indigenous Collection

The Indigenous collection features books, DVDs, picture books, and other materials curated in partnership with Indigenous colleagues. Resources are primarily tribally specific, by Indigenous authors, and reflect Indigenous values and ways of being.

Interlibrary Loans

The Library provides subsidized access to resources not currently purchased by the Library through its Interlibrary loan service (RACER).

Collection Maintenance

The Library has a collection of use that supports the University’s current teaching, learning and research activities and maximizes effective use of the Library’s physical space. Evidence-based deselection is an essential component of the Library’s collection management responsibilities. Books are deselected at the Collections Services Librarian’s professional discretion.

Deselection helps to:

  • ensure that the overall collection is relevant and useful to users
  • eliminate outdated, worn-out, and unused materials
  • maximize shelf and floor space
  • make materials easier to find and improve user experience.

Deselection is done:

  • on a day-to-day basis, as staff handle materials
  • annually in the fall
  • on a project basis, as needed.