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Collections Management Policy

The QMUL Library Collection Management Policy supports the College’s strategic aims of knowledge creation and knowledge dissemination.  The policy sets out the nature and scope of the collections, their context within the University and within the wider academic environment. It identifies key priorities for long term development and a framework for management of the collection.

The policy  provides a framework within which library and academic staff can maintain and develop the collections and monitor their long term use and value. It is available to decision makers and to Library users to inform their expectations of the Library’s collections. The Policy identifies the aims of the collections, key user groups and stakeholders. It states where responsibility for funding, selection, management and maintenance of the collections lies. The policy will be reviewed regularly to keep in line with University strategy, customer feedback, technological and other developments (last revised June 2013).


QMUL Library collects resources in many formats covering the range of academic work currently undertaken by the College. Physical library resources are housed in the library buildings for loan or reference while electronic resources are made available over the internet to bona fide QMUL users, accordning to the license requirements of the resource. In addition the Library manages the archives of the University and its previous constituent institutions.

Collection development policies for specific subjects are Appended (Appendix Five).


Each year, each academic School transfers an amount of money to the Library for monograph purchases. This  is determined with reference to spending on library books per student in our Mission Group and takes into account curriculum reviews, new modules and other changes in the work of the School. The library administers these funds on behalf of the Schools

The Subscriptions budget is allocated to the Library from the top sliced Professional Services budget

Academic Schools receive regular reports and information on the use of these funds


Books and journals are purchased from suppliers approved by the London Universities Purchasing Consortium and other specialist suppliers. The Library also supports and wherever possible, makes use of purchasing and negotiation consortia such as JISC Collections to ensure the best value for money and appropriate license terms.


The Library accepts donations of material that is relevant to the academic work of the University. Donations will be evaluated for condition, relevance and contribution to the library’s collections before being added to stock. Ownership is transferred to the library on receipt of a donation. Any accepted donations will be interfiled with other materials and will not be retained as a discrete collection. The Library reserves the right to refuse donations and to dispose of unwanted items. Different procedures apply to archival material (see Appendix 4)

Management of the collections

Resources are classified, catalogued and made available for loan or reference. Every effort is made to improve access to resources so where possible the Library will buy multiple copies and electronic versions of high use items. Wherever possible the Library will acquire electronic books that can be used by multiple simultaneous users.

It is necessary to make space for new items and to provide space for study within the library building so collections are monitored with regular reviews of use and relevance to current academic activity.

The Library maintains limited storage space for valuable but little used items which can be retrieved on request if required.

The Library offers an inter-library loans service for material that is unavailable, unsuitable or uneconomic for purchase. A charge is made for this service.


The library will withdraw and dispose of items that are damaged or in poor condition. These will be assessed to see if they are still useful and replaced if possible (see Appendix Two)

Items that are no longer used or no longer relevant to academic work will be withdrawn..

All withdrawn items will be sold, offered to charity or disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner. The Library will consult with academic Schools before undertaking any major disposals. Requests from QMUL academic staff to take personal ownership of withdrawn stock will be dealt with on a first come first served based and on the understanding that the new owner meets all removal, storage and delivery costs

Exam papers

Past papers are also available on QMplus, via academic modules and School-specific collections of past papers. Please contact your School or department for information about where these are located.


Supplementary to the Policy itself, appendices contain guidance to support the operation of the policy.

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