Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School

Collection Management Policy


Written by Cathy Ewin

Purpose and goals of the Library Collection

The role of the High School Library is to support the school’s mission through the collaborative resourcing of the curriculum in a variety of formats and to encourage the development of an information literate school community.

(Henri & Asselin, 2001),(0National Library of Australia, 2004)

Farrer MAHS Library Collection Management Policy upholds the principles of:

Freedom to read (ALA, 2004) (hyperlink)

The School Library Bill of Rights (ASLA, 2004) (hyperlink)

The ALIA Core Values Statement (2002)

Free Access to Information (ALIA, 2001)

Intellectual Freedom (CLA, 1985)


Farrer MAHS Library Collection aims to:

Support staff and students in their academic and professional information needs as well as their recreational reading needs (Debowski, 2001).

Provide unbiased access to information for all students, staff and interested members of the parent body in order to support the development of its user’s interests, talents and abilities (Hughes-Hassell & Mancall, 2005).

Provide resources that support current learning theory and individual learning styles (Herring, 2002).

Encourage an interest in literature and reading for pleasure

Develop information literacy skills in its users (Lonsdale, 2003).

Create a welcoming , helpful and professional environment.


Farrer MAHS will focus on the acquisition of digital resources during this financial year. This is due to users preference (Boon, 2008) as well as the school’s increasing focus on technology (Farrer MAHS Management Plan, 2015).  The results of student surveys and observation indicates that there is an obvious need to connect with library users through digital formats.

Priorities for selection of digital resources are:

  • The addition of e-Books to the schools collection.
  • The development of a school website in order to draw together all the digital resources that the library provides and enable students ease of access to free digital resources outside of the school that are valuable tools for student research.
  • The development of assignment pathfinders that directly relate to faculty developed assignments for each year level.
  • Linking of our school website to a database developed by Scotch College Melbourne which provides mediated websites that can support assignments and assessment tasks.
  • Continued subscriptions to ClickView and World Book Online (Church, 2007).
  • Subscription to Audible – a diigital audio book website
  • To increasingly acquire electronic rather than paper formats in relation to our non-fiction collection and in particular a select collection of e-Books (Linning, 2001).
  • To tailor print and electronic resources to reflect the needs of the curriculum of each KLA and the interests of the students.
    Priorities include:
  • Increase funding to allow subscription to the increasing number of digital resources that the school requires to provide easily accessible resources for its students.
  • Purchase resources that support the Premiers Reading Challenge, and in turn, literacy within the school.
  • Purchase resources that supports assignment work given across all KLA’s.
  • Weed the collection of outdated and irrelevant resources according to the Criteria for Weeding in order to create a more current and relevant collection.
  • Genrefy the fiction to collection into a set number of genres that are specified by the English department in order to support their teaching and to also allow students to select leisure reading material according their personal interests.
  • Increase magazine subscriptions that reflect the interests of the student body.
  • Increase links with the town library to broaden information access.
  • Research the inclusion of a greater range of items and programs aimed at promoting, technology and problem solving within the student body. These may include, but not be limited to, makerspace, 3-D printer, green screen and iPad apps for multi-media presentations and
  • Coding Club presentations.

Types of resources to be included in the collection

The library will collect a variety of resources in a variety of resources which include:
•Print Resources including fiction and select non-fiction books, news.papers, magazines.
•Audiovisual resources including DVD’s, ClickView.
•Electronic Resources including computer software, online resources – Farrer Library Website, e-Books, ClickView Library, World Book Online and Audible (digitised audio books).

Selection of resources

The resources that are chosen should complement the schools predetermined educational goals.  Resources will be selected, where appropriate, through recommendation and collaboration with relevant faculty members and students (Herring, 2002).  However the final arbiter for selection of materials will be the Teacher Librarian (Kennedy, 2006).  Expensive technological items will be selected in consultation with the schools technology expert (Kennedy, 2006).

General selection criteria for all resources

  • Purpose
  • Audience
  • Scope
  • Authority
  • Currency of information
  • Cost
  • Appropriate content and level for intended audience
  • Caters to different learning styles
  • Anticipated level of use
  • Avoid sexism and racism
(Canowindra High School, 2008), (Scotch College, 2009), (Kennedy, 2006)

Print resources

•Serials and subscriptions – the future cost of maintaining a serial/subscription (Kennedy, 2006)

Audio Visual

•Equipment required to use the resources (Kennedy, 2006).

Digital resources

•Ease of navigation (three click rule).
•Connection speed..
•Future of technology required to run resources.
•The hardware and software required to run the resources.
•Availability of built-in help aides.
•Platform maintenance fee.
•Consideration of licencing fees

(Kennedy, 2006)

Selection aides

The following selection aids enable a considered selection of hard copy resources and include:
•Professional review journals like Scan, Australian Book Review and Magpie
•Library suppliers promotional literature
•Publishers promotional literature
•On-line review searches eg. Amazon.com
•Suggestions from the school community and other Teacher Librarians.
•Curriculum Documents (Herring, 2002)
•Standing orders.
•Visits from booksellers.
•Bibliographies of core library collections
•Review databases
•Librarians Australia
•Browsing previews of trials of resources


Donations will be gratefully received on the understanding that they will be subject to the same selection criteria as the rest of the collection and will not be catalogued unless they comply.

Acquisition of resources

The acquisition of resources needs to be carried out in the most expedient and cost effective manner to the library but within the following guidelines.
•When possible, resources will be examined/trialled before purchase.
•Acquisition will be made in accordance with the annual acquisition goals for the library and the corresponding budget allocation (Linning, 2001).
•Resources will be ordered in a variety of formats with a particular emphasis on digital and electronic resources in 2017.
•A range of selection tools or recommendations will be used to facilitate the resource decisions made (Linning, 2001).
•Orders are to be made from the quickest, cheapest and most reliable supplier available. We will endeavour to buy locally when the pocal suppliers can meet these prerequisites.  Freight costs must be taken into consideration.
•Most items will be purchased using an official school order form unless the item cannot be acquired in a timely manner through this method. The items may then be purchased be credit card and reimbursement made from library funds using an official school order form.

List of preferred suppliers

Digital Suppliers

  • Audible
  • iTunes
  • Wheelers eBooks

Special resource suppliers

  • Raeco
  • Syba Signs
  • Staples
  • BFX Furniture
  • Woods Furniture
  • cd-soft Educational Resources

Weeding of resources

The purpose of weeding is to ensure that the school library maintains a strong collection that is appealing, relevant and current (Dillon,02002), (School Catalogue Information Service, 2007).  Weeding should be an ongoing process (Moore, 2002).  It should be recognised that not all items on the shelves are of equal value.  The aim is to maintain a collection with an average copyright date of less than ten years.  This will help the library to maintain a reputation for reliable information (Dillon, 2001).

Resources are to be weeded by professional staff with knowledge of:
•The curriculum.
•Learning and teaching styles.
•Child development.
•Collection development.
•Selection criteria.

Staff subject expertise may be sought.
Resources in Farrer MAHS Library need to be comprehensively culled.

Resources will be weeded according to the following general criteria:
•Obsolete/ inaccurate/ out of date
•Subject no longer current
•Poor physical condition
•Many books already on the subject in the collection.
•Duplicate copies.
•Poor circulatory history.
•More appropriate format available on subject.

(Kennedy, 2006), (Lamb & Johnson, 2007)

Weeding of electronic resources criteria:
•Obsolete – site not updated regularly.
•Question authenticity of site.
•Resource no longer relevant to educational needs.
•Cheaper similar source of information available

(Kennedy, 2006)

Disposal of weeded resources

•Resources will be disposed of by offering them to subject departments and interested staff then students.
•All unclaimed items will be recycled.

(Dillon, 2001)

Evaluation of the collection

The purpose of evaluating the collection is to identify areas of the collection that are not meeting the needs of its users and to ensure that the collection remains balanced, current, relevant and a strong source of support for its users.

(Debowski, 2001), (Kennedy, 2006)

The collection will be evaluated:

  • In terms of its ability to resource students assignments and assessment work.In terms of its ability to support reading levels of learners.
  • In terms of its ability to support leaning differences in students.
  • To determine budget priorities for resource acquisition.
  • During routine weeding.

Through formal and informal means including:

  • Stocktake
  • Statistics.
  • Collection mapping.
  • Circulation data from Oliver.
  • Surveys.
  • In-library observation of resource use
  • Ongoing spontaneous feedback from teaching staff and students
  • Comparison to accepted standards (Hughes-Hassell and Mancall, 2005), (Bishop, 2007)

Challenge to resources

Farrer MAHS Library supports the School Library Bill of Rights and the Statement of Free Access to Information in its selection and deselection policy and procedures.

(Debowski, 2001)

All school community members have the right to challenge the inclusion of material into the library’s collection if they do not feel that it meets the selection criteria outlined in the Collection Management Policy.

If a challenge occurs:
•An attempt to resolve the challenge informally will be undertaken and the individual will be provided with a copy of the Farrer MAHS Collection Management Plan.
•A formal complaint can be made on the Challenged Materials Form and lodged with the Teacher Librarian.
•The Challenged Materials Procedure (see Teacher Librarian) will be followed.
•A formal challenge will be dealt with by the Library Committee and the School Collection Management Plan will be used in order to review the item.
•Challenged materials will remain on the shelf until a resolution is found.
•Items will be dealt with in the manner recommended by the Library Committee.
•If the challenger is dissatisfied with the findings of the committee, they have the right to approach the principal with the matter who will be the final arbiter.

(DET Curriculum Directorate, 1996)


Items to be purchased through Farrer MAHS Library budget must be relevant, cost effect and viable (Debowski, 2001).  Because the library plan is to provide greater digital and technological resources over the next few years, extra funding to facilitate these changes will be sought in the next year.

Budget decisions will be determined by the following principles:
•All budget requests will be linked to educational outcomes, school pririties and goals.
•Funds will be allocated to resources according to the predetermined goals of the collection plan.
•Weaker areas of the collection will receive budget priority if they also have high educational priority.
•Records of expenditure will be maintained.
•Reviews of the achievements of the library for the 12 month budget period are to be prepared and translated to the school community as part of the school report.

(Debowski, 2001), (Herring, 2002)

Farrer MAHS Collection Management plan has been reviewed by Cathy Ewin.  This plan will be reviewed every two years.