As of 22 April 2009 this website is 'frozen' in time — see the current IFLA websites

This old website and all of its content will stay on as archive – http://archive.ifla.org

IFLANET home - International Federation of Library Associations and InstitutionsActivities and ServicesSearchContacts

Acquisition and Collection Development Section

Strategic Plan

Russian translation

Background information

The Section on Acquisition and Collection Development focuses on methodological and topical themes pertaining to the acquisition, purchase, licensing and de-selection of print, other traditional format library materials (by purchase, exchange, gift, legal deposit), and electronic information resources.

Specialized interests include collection development policies, collection development methods, techniques and practices for collection assessment, usage statistics, materials pricing issues, ownership vs. access issues, the "Open Access" movement, format duplication, scholarly communication and librarians' relations with publishers and vendors. As access to materials becomes an increasingly viable alternative to ownership, the Section finds itself working more closely with the Sections on Serials and Other Continuing Resources, Document Delivery and Resource Sharing, and any advisory committees within IFLA that facilitate discussions between libraries and publishers and/or producers of electronic resources. Also of concern to the Section are the impact and application of technological developments that underlie many of the changes observed in departmental workflow, and partnering arrangements when acquiring materials (such as electronic data interchange, materials licensing agreements, and cooperative collection development). In formulating its Goals the Section strives to be flexible and responsive to changing conditions in the professional environment as well as in the information industry. The Section is especially cognizant of the need to integrate its Goals with IFLA's thematic focus and professional priorities.


The mission of the Section on Acquisition and Collection Development is to serve as a forum for the broader discussion and dissemination of information on evolving acquisition methods and for promoting strategies for successful and effective collection development in an evolving information environment in libraries around the world.


1. Monitor and evaluate the evolving nature of library collections, both print and electronic, including the increasing importance of consortial and cooperative acquisition and exchange programs. In addition, the Section is interested in the acquisitions function in libraries worldwide, including ordering and payment for materials electronically.

IFLA Profession Pillar

Professional Priorities: Promoting resource sharing; Developing library professionals; Promoting standards, guidelines and best practice


1.1 Pursue development of jointly sponsored programs and/or pre- conferences with related section on a broad range of possible topics, to be determined on an annual basis.

1.2 Develop and maintain a "Continuing Issues Agenda" of topics of interest to the Standing Committee which also might serve as a reference list for potential programme possibilities. Append updates of the "Continuing Issues Agenda" to each iteration of the Section's Strategic Plan.

1.3 Continue to hold Mid-Term meetings to focus on the on-going activities of the Section, including preparations for the Annual Conference as well as interacting with local colleagues on matters of professional interest when feasible.

2. Provide information, in support of IFLA'S Profession Pillar, on collection development activities, such as the formulation of collection development guidelines, including, for example, information on e-resources, gifts and de-acquisition and weeding of library collections.

IFLA Profession Pillar

Professional Priorities: Providing unrestricted access to information; Promoting resource sharing; Preserving our cultural heritage, Promoting standards, guidelines and best practices


2.1 Focus on "completion" and electronic publication of the first version of the Section's current draft of IFLA Electronic Resource Guidelines.

2.2 Develop a set of guidelines governing the solicitation and acceptance of gift materials in libraries.

3. Develop working and cooperative relationships with comparable acquisition and collection development focused groups outside of IFLA.

IFLA Profession and Members Pillars

Professional Priorities: Promoting resource sharing; Developing library professionals; Promoting standards, guidelines, and best practices; Supporting the infrastructure of library associations


3.1 Initiate formal contact with the Collection Management and Development Section of ALCTS of the American Library Association and with the Collection Development Committee of LIBER as a start, maintain awareness about related conferences, such as the annual Charleston Conference, as well as other IFLA Sections focusing on Subject content and specific library environments.

3.2 Pursue possible joint programming possibilities with LIBER in anticipation of the Milan Conference.

4. Provide information about the work of the Section and the Standing Committee in a variety of media (printed Newsletters, brochures, publication of papers given during IFLA conferences or at Mid-Term meetings, and in electronic formats such as IFLANET) to those interested in acquisitions and collection development work.

IFLA Profession and Members Pillars

Professional Priorities: Developing library professionals; Promoting standards, guidelines and best practices


4.1 Publish in a timely manner two issues of the Section's Newsletter each year. Forward electronic versions to IFLANet for posting.

4.2 Produce online a new, updated English language version of the Section's brochure. Likewise, secure translations in at least four of IFLA's official languages, off the Section's brochure for posting on IFLANet.

4.3 Continue to pursue linking of Section materials to web sites of ALA ALCTS and similar national or regional library organizations.

4.4 Disseminate significant Section documentation and announcements to the COLLDV-L, CHIEFCDO and LIBER discussion lists, at a minimum.

5. Strengthen the Section by pursuing measures to increase membership in the Section.

IFLA Profession and Members Pillars

Professional Priorities: Developing library professionals, Supporting the infrastructure of library associations

5.1 Post on IFLANet translations of the Section's brochure.

5.2 Provide information on how to become a member of the Section on major collection development-related electronic discussion lists.

5.3 Utilize, as appropriate, IFLA's "Recruitment Toolkit."

5.4 Implement and maintain the policy that the Chair welcomes in writing all new Section members.

APPENDIX: Continuing Issues Agenda

The Continuing Issues Agenda documents, for future reference and possible action, topics of continuing interest to the Standing Committee. [see 1.2 of this Strategic Plan]

  1. The endangered species of print
  2. Evolving role of e-books (other than reference works)
  3. Scholarly communication
  4. Open access
  5. Guidelines for digitization projects
  6. Electronic licensing issues and concerns
  7. Developing and managing hybrid collections
  8. Collection level cataloging
  9. Possible cooperative projects within IFLA with Copyright and Other Legal Matters and/or Preservation and Conservation
  10. Counting our digital assets
Adopted by the Standing Committee of the Acquisition & Collection Development Section of IFLA (Division 5), November 2007.