28+ Sample Collection Development Plan

What Is a Collection Development Plan?

A collection development plan is a comprehensive and well-integrated action plan that focuses on the part of collection management that involves working with decisions in acquiring or securing materials for the library’s collection, whether by gifts, loans, exchange programs, or loans. The acquisitions librarian and the discipline librarians use this document to effectively utilize one or more techniques in gathering and analyzing data concerning library users and the library’s current collections. It also provides sufficient data about the general interests, crucial work roles, education, information-seeking behavior, values, and associated characteristics of prospective library users.

According to a 2017 statistical report, librarians check usage data, discuss with the faculty and students, and examine an extensive range of content as part of their library selection process. For example, the physical materials in Lane Community College (LCC) Library contain 92.3% books, 4.1% DVDs, 1% magazines and journals, and 3.5% other reading materials, while their online materials are made up of 66.9% eBooks, 18.1% e-journals, and 14.9% streaming videos. This shows that they spend approximately 50% of their collection budget on books and DVDs and another 50% on journals and magazines, both in print and electronic format via database subscriptions. Thus, all kinds of librarians and collection development project supervisors should effectively create a compelling and well-detailed collection development plan.

Different Types of Collection Development Plans

One of the most time-consuming jobs out there is managing different library collections. Librarians evaluate these collections to select the right items to be added to a particular library or sub-section as they highly consider a wide array of factors and variables such as accessibility, budget/pricing, audience, popularity, trends, and many others. That’s why they need to familiarize themselves both with the library and with the departments and/or programs of their collection prior to managing and enhancing the collection properly. Plus, they need to understand different types of collection development plans that they will use for their respective work.

1. Arts Collection Development Plan

An art collection development plan is a strategic action plan to articulate collecting priorities for the future development of a particular art collection. It allows the art association to create consistent and logical decisions connected to new acquisitions that will improve the overall art collection. It gives clarity and insight into the composition and relevance of the art collection, the art collection policy, and the implementation of the art collection policy. When preparing this document, describe essential subjects like art collection history, collecting and de-accessioning, and preservation and management. Using this plan can lead to the accentuation of the art collection profile and aid in setting priorities in the art collection policy.

2. School Library Collection Development Plan

Construct a cohesive development plan for your school library collection. Include a clear description of your school library about the number of students, administrators, teachers, staff, and parents that it serves and the items it provides such as art prints, picture books, easy fiction books, nonfiction books, references, videos, and audio-visual equipment. Explain the purchasing materials available in your library collection for the users such as atlases, dictionaries, and encyclopedias. Define the main goals of the school library collection development and how the school librarian will select the books and materials to be purchased.

3. Collection Development Plan for Public Library

A collection development plan for a public library contains major goals, objectives, and background of the library collection, along with policies for the selection and maintenance of the public library collection. It is an important document to provide the structure to meet their commitment to offering a well-rounded public library collection. Describe the mission, core values, goals, objectives, and strategies of the collection quality development plan. For example, indicate in your core values that your public library value and respect the employees and volunteers of the library and maintain the highest standards as much as possible.

4. Museum Collection Development Plan

Make an organized museum collection development plan while describing the present collections of the museum and guidelines for its further development. This document assists the museum to make proactive decisions and ensures major supporters that the museum is utilizing the resources they contribute consciously. It provides guidance for the content of the collections to be showcased in the museum. What is in the collections? What artifacts does the museum need to educate the public about the theme? Consider these questions so that you and your staff can suggest new directions for the collection.

5. 5-Year Collection Development Plan

Use a 5-year collection development plan to improve the public library and information center in your community. It helps in ensuring that the public library continues to move forward and grow with the community according to the mission statement and goals that have been established. For instance, incorporate in your goals that the library will offer customers valuable experiences and opportunities that aid self-directed learning, as well as it will provide safe and comfortable welcoming places for the community members.

Basic Components of a Collection Development Plan 

A top level of tolerance for the continuous change of newly available materials has always been required in the process of choosing the materials for and sufficiently maintaining the significance and price of any library’s collection of materials in various formats. What are the different kinds of components of a collection development plan? Include the following elements for you to create a professional action plan for your library collection:

Abstract: Write the abstract of your collection development plan which includes the main purpose, mission, vision, and status of the library collection that will be assessed and developed. Table of Contents: Construct a standardized outline of your collection development plan. Arrange the fundamental sections and main headings, subsections and subheadings, and pages of the contents of the library collection development plan. Goals and Objectives Statement: Specify the key goals and objectives of your collection development plan. For example, include in your goals and objectives that the library will continue to deliver unique collections that help community members to build critical skills and competencies for the workplace, lifelong learning, and quality of life, and it will provide materials to support reading or viewing or listening for entertainment and pleasure. Collection Development Methodology: Describe the collection development methodologies integrated into the plan. Explain the strategies, tools, and resources that are required in the collection management and development plan including the library collection development activities, quality standards, and many other aspects that need to be improved. Timeline: Organize a simple timeline displaying the breakdown structure of contents in the library collection development plan. Classify the collection development activities in phases and content blocks. Highlight the dates on which the contents of the library collection development will be completed. Conclusion/Summary: Write a brief summary of the key points of your collection development plan. Then, associate the value or outcomes of the major points of your library collection development plan.

How to Write a Collection Development Plan

Public library media specialists carefully identify the strengths and weaknesses in the collection according to the curricular program in the school, institution, or organization. If you are having a hard time writing a collection development plan, we provide some easy-to-follow tips that indicate how to write a clear and structured collection development plan:

Step 1: Make a Comprehensive Analysis of the Community

Develop a constant and in-depth academic community analysis of your school or local area concerning your school library or public library. This will help you to know the purpose or aim of your collection development plan. Detect strengths and weaknesses of library collections that exist depending on the specific needs and preferences of the learning community.

Step 2: Specify the Goals and Objectives

What are your goals and objectives, standards, and your learner satisfaction criteria for your collection development plan? Indicate in this section the crucial project deliverables and processes which are subject to library media collection assessment, the measures utilized to determine the results, and the learner satisfaction criteria when each collection standard is accomplished and aligned with the needs and preferences of the readers and the management.

Step 3: Explain the Major Roles and Responsibilities of the Collection Development Staff

The next step is to add a clear and straightforward description of the major roles and responsibilities of the collection development staff in your library. Tell how your library media collection development team will fulfill the needs and expectations of learners, students, and other people with professional standards, and how you will assess the advantages of library collection objectives and the processes.

Step 4: Construct a Summary of the Assessment, Selection, and Acquisition of Materials

Construct a summary of the assessment of the library collection and the selection and acquisition of materials. Record and point out the valuable points of your collection development plan. Show the purpose, statistical techniques, analysis and evaluation process, data collection, discussion, and other essential library media collection assurance outcomes.

Step 5: Establish a Clear Timeline

Draw a clear timeline to help guide the implementation of the collection development plan. Explain which assessment, selection, and acquisition work has to be performed and when it will be done and how you and your collection development staff further improve the library. Be precise and specific while outlining your collection development strategies and techniques.

Step 6: Proofread and Prepare the Final Collection Development Plan

Review your overall collection development plan and ensure that you fully integrate all the integral points in your document. Skim it as you quickly scan the content of your plan to see if you overlook critical areas or if there are some grammatical or typographical errors in your work. If you notice some errors, try your best to proofread, edit, and revise the plan immediately.


What is the primary goal of collection development?

The primary goal of collection development is to search for documented information significant to current research, instructional, and institutional programs, and to buy and preserve chosen resources at levels suitable to the depth and scope of the programs.

What are the basic steps in collection development?

The basic steps in collection development are user needs analysis, policy development, selection, acquisition, weeding, and evaluation. User needs analysis is the method of obtaining more information about a target population or patrons with a perspective of determining their information needs. Policy development aims on addressing issues on material selection, planning for new collections or collection areas, and many other concerns. Weeding is used to discard or transfer information materials systematically.

What are some examples of collection development plans?

Some examples of collection development plans are library collection development plans, art collection development plans, school library collection development plans, collection development plans for public libraries, cooperative media collection development plans, new collection development plans, college development plans for library collection, public law library collection development plans, printable collection development plans, high schools collection development plans, room collection development plans, and collection development plan format.

Why is it essential to create a collection development plan?

A collection development plan is essential to create because it prevents the library from being consumed by special events or by individuals who want to purchase a random set of resources. Using a cohesive collection development plan will help librarians to organize and provide fundamental resources in an organized manner.

Collection development is an ongoing process performed by librarians and library staff to provide high-quality information resources available in print and digital formats and to give access to electronic resources. So, build an intellectually balanced library media collection to respond to the needs of the learners, students, faculty, and staff. Writing a comprehensive plan for library collection development is important to assess and supplement the information needs of library users. Thus, we offer a unique selection of collection development plan samples, library media collection development plan templates, new collection development plan templates, high school library collection development plans, and other collection development plan templates for you to download and use.