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General Collection Development Policy

Policy Last Updated: December 19, 2020

Collection principles and goals

Collection Policies

Laurier Archives Collection Policies

Build a Focused Academic Teaching and Research Collection

Wilfrid Laurier University Library’s collections support the teaching and research needs of the Laurier community. The Library aims to develop and maintain a core collection of research and scholarly materials; in addition, it acquires more specialized items in areas where university academic programs and research have an acknowledged strength. The selection and management of collections are based on the community’s current needs, as well as future needs, reflecting the long-range goals of the University.

Ensure Collections Accessibility

The Library is committed to providing equitable, barrier free access to our collection, in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The Library will incorporate accessibility criteria and features into the procurement of collections whenever possible. As outlined in the Library’s Accessible Service Policy, Laurier Library will, upon request and where available, acquire an accessible or conversion-ready format of materials for a person with a disability.

Meet the needs of a Multi-Campus Library Environment

The Library strives to facilitate access to resources in our multi-campus environment and to minimize duplication of materials. The goal is to create one comprehensive collection library-wide in both electronic and print formats and use the inter-campus delivery services to distribute the print collection to users at all campuses.

Preserve Laurier Scholarship

The Library is committed to preserving the scholarship produced within the Laurier community through the following arrangements:

  • Scholars Commons @ Laurier - Laurier’s Institutional Repository which makes available Faculty Open Access articles and theses and dissertations
  • Faculty Publications - the Library purchases all works substantially authored, edited, performed, or composed by Laurier faculty.
  • Faculty Research Data - The Library provides self-service and mediated research data archiving services
  • Laurier Archives - The Laurier Archives is the Library's research collection of archival papers, rare books, and historic university records.
  • WLU Press - The Library receives two copies of each book published by the Press. One copy goes into the circulating stacks and a second copy to Laurier Archives.

Practice Ethical Collection Development and Management

The Library is committed to ensuring the collection is developed and managed according to the values of librarianship. The Canadian Federation of Library Associations articulates many of these in its Guidelines and Position Papers

Collection Management

The Library has designated a Liaison Librarian for each academic department on campus. Each department has a designated faculty liaison with whom the Liaison Librarian collaborates. This relationship is important for conveying information to departments and for departments to keep the Librarian apprised of changes to the department’s research and teaching activities. Input and recommendations are given appropriate consideration when the Library makes acquisition decisions.

Librarians continually plan, assess and analyze the collection to meet the teaching, research and learning needs of Laurier’s faculty, staff and students. This includes the selection and deselection of material. Factors include: ensuring relevance, the physical condition of material, online versions, usage, and collection arrangement.

Approval Plans

The Library has formal arrangements with book vendors to select and supply publications based on approval plans developed according to our collection policies.


See the Donation Policy


The primary language of the collection is English, unless otherwise stated in a subject collection policy.

Duplicates/Number of Copies

The Library normally collects one copy of each title.


Materials not usually collected, except where specifically noted in subject policies, include:

  • article reprints and photocopies
  • audiobooks
  • ephemera and pamphlets
  • juvenile literature
  • laboratory manuals and workbooks
  • obsolete formats
  • popular content books
  • realia
  • self-published/vanity press

Types of Materials


The library focuses on purchasing recently published books from academic and scholarly publishers both in print and electronic format. When selecting ebooks, purchase with the guarantee of perpetual access is preferred to subscription models.


The Library does not collect textbooks.

Reference Materials

The Library maintains a core collection of standard academic reference sources. Specialized reference resources may be collected to support advanced research.

Journals & Databases

The Library provides access to a large number of journals and databases, often purchased through our consortial partnerships. These resources require ongoing budget commitments and are therefore considered carefully.


The Library purchases DVDs (NTSC Region 1), streaming media (individually and in collections), games, and manages university classroom public performance rights (PPR) licenses. Resources with captioning are preferred. Sound recordings are collected to support the teaching and research of the Faculty of Music and other specific areas. These are collected in connection with curriculum needs. Close attention is paid to what technology is supported in the classroom.

Government Information

Most public-facing government documents are now available online and many agencies no longer produce print copies. The Library is a selective depository for Ontario Provincial government documents that still exist in print, and actively collects relevant European Union and key Canadian Federal documents. A legacy print collection exists and the Library has ongoing subscriptions to selected microform and e-resources.

Social Survey and Geospatial Data

Laurier collects and provides access to licensed Statistics Canada survey and census microdata, as well as Canadian public opinion polling data.


At the local level, the Laurier Library, the University of Waterloo Libraries, and the University of Guelph Libraries collaborate closely, including sharing an off-site storage facility. The Library also participates in the Canadian Universities Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement allowing for in-person borrowing of material at other participating universities.

The Library is a member of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). OCUL is active in many initiatives including negotiating database purchases for all Ontario universities. Additionally, with the Scholars Portal initiative, where possible, journal and ebook content is being centrally loaded in Ontario on Scholars Portal servers thus ensuring long-term access. Scholars Portal has received Trustworthy Digital Repository certification from the Center for Research Libraries. OCUL-Collaborative Futures is a subset of OCUL which collaborates on Omni, a shared library management system to leverage our capacity and shared electronic and print resources.

Nationally, the Library is a member of Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), which negotiates consortial database purchases on behalf of Canadian universities and provides access to Canada’s preserved documentary heritage. Through coordinated leadership, CRKN invests in large-scale content acquisition and licensing to support research and development in Canada’s universities. The Library also participates in Consortia Canada which undertakes collaborative research purchasing initiatives.

Page Owner: Charlotte Innerd

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Last Updated: January 22, 2023 3:35pm