Collection guidelines

The University Library maintains an annual program of collection management, involving selection, maintenance, evaluation and compliance reporting, to ensure the currency, quality, usability, and longevity of all our collections and optimum use of physical and virtual Library spaces. The Collection Guidelines support collection management decision-making that is evidence-based and balances industry best-practice with consultation.

Collection management aims to optimise the client’s experience of and engagement with our collections while managing resource limitations. All collection management activities are undertaken in compliance with the University's Finance, Procurement, Asset Management and ICT (Internet Communication Technology) policies and practices.

Acquisition and retention

The University Library will prioritise:

  • the acquisition and retention of resources within the general physical and electronic collections
  • items that support demand in current and emerging teaching and research subject areas
  • ongoing commitments to rare and special collections development
  • preserving the intellectual output of the University
  • resource sharing, retention and open access partnerships.

As part of ongoing collection management, the University Library will retain:

  • one physical copy of monographic resources (print books and musical scores) in the physical collection, where the item is an acceptable condition
  • electronic versions of other resources, considering long-term access and resource quality, completeness, and usability.

In addition, the University Library will:

  • support equitable access to required readings and other course resources via the Unit of Study Readings and short loan services
  • implement digital preservation strategies to ensure ongoing public access to unique cultural and historical items within our collections.

Collection budget

The General Collection budget is determined during the University’s annual budget review process and is managed by the Access Services division of the University Library. All decisions are subject to the University’s procurement and audit requirements.

The University Library will prioritise maintaining its ongoing acquisition and subscription to Australian and international resources to support current and emerging research, teaching and learning needs. To extend user access beyond our collections and support new models of access, the University Library will participate in strategic shared-resource and Open Access initiatives and partnerships.

The University Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections acquisitions and conservation activities are funded by financial gifts and bequests from the community, the Friends of the University Library, and other external funding sources.

Recommending new resources

The University Library will work with Faculties and Schools to understand teaching and research requirements and recommend new resources. Requests for new resources must be balanced against existing commitments to maintain existing subscriptions. The University Library’s budget will determine the extent to which new content can be purchased. Factors considered will include (but are not limited to):

  • content hosting platform and user experience
  • user access model, licensing conditions and restrictions on use
  • compliance with the University's Finance, Procurement, Asset Management and ICT policies
  • one-off purchase or ongoing subscription requirement
  • usage and feedback on trials, and uniqueness and coverage of content compared to similar resources within the same discipline
  • the target user group(s) and projected usage
  • availability via resource sharing arrangements
  • recent purchases from the recommendation list made for the discipline
  • alignment with the Collections Framework Principles and Guidelines.

For Unit of Study resource requests, please refer to the Reading Lists guide.

To request resources to support research (including journal subscriptions) please contact an Academic Liaison Librarian to discuss options.

Preference for electronic access

To facilitate remote teaching, learning and research, and enable the broadest and most equitable access to the General Collection for our staff and students, the University Library prioritises the acquisition of resources in electronic format.

The University Library may purchase in physical format if:

  • an electronic version is not available, or not within a reasonable timeframe
  • the purchasing model, license or conditions of use are unsustainable
  • the physical nature of the resource cannot be effectively substituted with an electronic version for effective teaching, learning or research.

In addition, there are certain disciplines, subject matter areas and types of resources where the physical format is preferred, including (but not limited to):

  • items for Rare Books and Special Collections
  • First Nations resources
  • visual art and design resources
  • musical scores
  • curriculum resources
  • research monographs relevant to law, arts, and the social sciences.

To request physical formats or other specific resource requirements, please contact an Academic Liaison Librarian to discuss options.


The range of born-digital resources, platforms and access models offered by publishers and vendors continues to grow.

eResources may be acquired via:

  • subscription or lease
  • outright purchase (perpetual access)
  • Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA).

The University Library prioritises content vendors that offer:

  • perpetual access, except when the subscription model provides for the continual updating of texts (e.g. periodical publications), or when the costs for perpetual access are prohibitive
  • unlimited user access
  • institution-wide licences
  • access via a range of devices
  • compliance with web accessibility standards
  • access without Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions and or the need for additional software
  • appropriate escrow and digital preservation conditions.

Read more information about eResources

To request new eResources, please contact an Academic Liaison Librarian.


The University Library is committed to improving the accessibility of all our Library collections, and encourages client feedback on the accessibility of specific resources, vendor platforms, digital collections and physical Library sites.

Staff and students with a disability can access assistive technologies and the assistive technology room in Fisher Library, via Inclusion and Disability Services.

For more information, please refer to  Accessibility.


The University Library welcomes financial gifts, bequests and donations of rare contemporary and historical items that will enrich the University’s research and education experience and contribute to the development of the collections.

For ways to contribute, or to complete a donor expression of interest, please see Give to the Library.

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