School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 531 Outline

LIS 531 Collection Management

Course Outline


Angela Pollak, PhD



Email or Skype (by appointment)

Class Meets:

Online. The class week runs from Monday to Sunday


Calendar Description:

An analytical approach to collection management including the acquisition, review and evaluation of collections.

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Develop and administer basic collection management programs.
  2. Develop and administer basic collection policies and procedures for a variety of materials and resources.
  3. Critically consider implications of the needs of communities in relation to particular collections.

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

After critical reading in collection management and related literature in tandem with lectures, students will discuss and scrutinize appropriate theories and principles related to collection management decision making, including but not limited to decisions about: policy development; selection and de-selection; acquisition; vendor contracts and relations; licensing, copyright and legal issues; resource sharing; outsourcing; access, ethics and intellectual freedom; preservation; and, evaluation.

After drawing upon community needs assessment literature and discussion, students will prepare a mock community needs assessment and collection development plan for a subject and library of their choosing, including an online presentation of their work.

After exposure to lectures, readings and/or guest lectures in tandem with individual research, students will prepare a subject guide and an online presentation related to a specific type of material resource commonly collected in public libraries and share it with peers through online presentations.


  • Introduction – managing and developing collections
  • Production and distribution landscape – who owns what?
  • Decision making cycles
  • Communities and Collections
  • Selection and acquisition
  • Evaluation and deselection
  • Scholarly communication – Open access and digital repositories
  • Copyright
  • Intellectual freedom
  • Vendor negotiation
  • Relationships and resource sharing
  • Stewardship



Lectures, discussions, required readings, case studies, reader-response, small group work, and online presentations.

Course Relationships:

Pre-requisites:  LIS 501, 502, 503, & 505.

Required Texts:

The assigned readings will be available through the course website. From time to time, as they come to my attention, additional articles that are not on the syllabus may be posted to the course site for your information and/or interest.  Please feel free to post articles that you have found that would be of interest to others in the class to the discussion forums.

The lecture material will come primarily from the following textbooks, but you are not required to purchase or read them unless you wish to do so. Both are available online through the University of Alberta Libraries.


Johnson, P. (2014). Fundamentals of collection development and management (Third edition, UK edition). London: Facet Publishing.


Evans, G. E. & Saponaro, M.Z. (2012). Collection management basics (Sixth edition.). Santa Barbara, California : Libraries Unlimited.


Assignments and Weighting:

  • Materials & Resources Presentation and Guide (20%)
  • Collection management part I (20%)
  • Collection management report and presentation parts II & III (30%)
  • Reflection (20%)
  • Participation (10%)

Details of these assignments and due dates will be provided in class. Raw scores (marks on assignments) are totaled at the end of the course and converted to University of Alberta’s letter grading scale.

School of Library and Information Studies Grading Statement:

Grades reflect professional judgements of student achievement made by instructors. These judgements are based on a combination of absolute achievement and relative performance in class. The instructor should mark in terms of raw scores, rank the assignments in order of merit, and with due attention to the verbal descriptions of the various grades, assign an appropriate final letter grade.

Academic Integrity:

The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour (online at and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Students should also be mindful of the SLIS Copyright Policy.

Inclusive Language and Equity:

The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of respect for all people within the university community and to educating faculty, staff, and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation and ethnic background. Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Specialized Support and Disability Services.

Recording of Lectures:

Recording of lectures is permitted only with the prior written consent of the professor or if recording is part of an approved accommodation plan.

Policy about course outlines can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.