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Development and management of our collections: Statement of principles

A statement of principles to be read in conjunction with our Collections Operating Procedures and our Collection Development Policy for Special Collections:

As a National Research Library we hold rich and diverse collections which we curate and share based on the following principles:

  1. We support our Manchester users
  2. We promote open science and digital scholarship
  3. We collaborate with other libraries in national and international networks.

We support our Manchester users, both local and distant:

  • We maintain services for the loan/return of physical books
  • We focus on e-books ('e-first principle' in acquisitions) to enable equitable access for those studying, whether on or off campus
  • We take a data-informed approach to aligning our collection development initiatives with current teaching and research
  • We allow much of our collection development to be user-led, by operating demand-driven or evidence-based acquisition schemes
  • We seek to maximise the use and relevance of our digital and physical collections, and keep our open-shelf material accessible by regularly relocating little-used items to our off-site stores
  • We negotiate the best possible licence terms to provide the widest access and to ensure the University receives the best value for money.

We build and make available our collections and data sets openly for those in the wider research community:

  • While we prioritise current staff and students at the University of Manchester, we take seriously our responsibilities to researchers across the UK
  • We work to secure alumni access to our resources where possible
  • We aim to support maximum exploitation of UK copyright law for text and data-mining
  • As a Library we support Open Access publishing of journals and books, through financial contributions, choice of where we spend/subscribe, and through professional input to selection procedures
  • We aim to acquire, preserve and make available a wide variety of materials – even controversial ones – reflecting the plurality and diversity of society.

We operate collaboratively on different levels:

  • In northern England, via the organisations NoWAL/Northern Collaboration
  • Within the national HE library environment, via Research Libraries UK, and Jisc’s Library Hub infrastructure
  • We believe in providing access to teaching and especially research collections through co-operation between institutions – collaborative collection management – rather than each library having to own their own copy of each text
  • We do not actively seek donations of books or journals.