Collection Development Policy

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2. Basic Principles of the Collection Development Policy

1. Target Resources and Scope of the Collection Development Policy

In this policy statement, the terms ‘resources,’ ‘information resources,’ and ‘intellectual information’ are used interchangeably and refer to analog resources and digital information resources worthy of development and preservation as national information resources or as part of a national collection. In other words, they refer to all information resources with potential value and required for research and development activities, those that are worthy of being considered intellectual and cultural heritage, and any that contain educational and academic value.

The emphasized terms ‘national collection’ and ‘national information resources’ in this policy statement refer to collections that develop, collect, register, and preserve in a variety of manners those library resources produced and distributed in Korea and overseas in accordance with the Libraries Act. They encompass the collective concept and identity of the complete Korean intellectual and cultural heritage and guarantee the historic, accumulative, systematic, and all additional values of the world of knowledge and recorded culture.

2. Collection Development Methods

National collections are developed and maintained through the legal deposit of library resources published (produced) in Korea, in combination with other collection methods such as the purchasing, donation, international exchange, voluntary deposit, photo-printing, and reproduction of domestic and foreign resources.

(1) Legal Deposit: Based on Article 20 (1) of the Libraries Act, resources produced in Korea are collected through legal deposit, registered as part of the national collection, and preserved for eternity. In addition, these resources are offered to the public through reading opportunities, reference services, and interlibrary loan, as well as utilized for compiling national bibliographies and promotion both within Korea and overseas. Among online resources on offer in Korea, however, only those considered exceptionally worthy of preservation, based on Article 20-2 (1) of the Libraries Act, are collected and preserved.

(2) Purchasing: Domestic and foreign resources are purchased in order to enhance the function of the Library as a support service for securing intellectual and cultural heritage, establishing pan-governmental policy, and public investigation and research activities. It is also undertaken to benefit the Library’s role as a national center for knowledge and information. Principle target resources for purchase include uncollected domestic resources, resources that are damaged or otherwise beyond repair or restoration, foreign academic resources and resources related to Korea.

(3) Donation: Resources that were published prior to the enactment of the legal deposit requirement or that may be missing from national collections are collected through donation. However, donated resources or copies that are not in accordance with the NLK collection development policy and its particular guidelines may be refused or go unregistered.

(4) International Exchange: Through exchanges with central libraries in other nations, resources such as government publications, policy and statistical resources, publications by academic research institutions, and foreign publications that are related to Korea are to be collected, sometimes through donation library designations from selected international institutions.

(5) Other: Among those resources presently uncollected by the Library or impossible to collect through methods such as purchasing, acquisition, or exchange, ancient Korean publications and resources on modern and contemporary history related to Korea are collected through reproduction methods such as migration (micro-reproduction, digitization) and photo-printing.

3. Priority Order of Collections

The following five degrees in the given order of priority are applied collectively or selectively to the development of national collections depending on the format, subject, medium, language (country of origin), and life expectancy of the resource.

(1) Archiving Collection: When developing national collections, regardless of the format, medium, subject and language of the resource, first priority is given to the function of preservation of knowledge and information as resources and to preemptive preparation for the strategic strengthening of copyright protection by advanced nations. This is to allow physical collections with a focus on primary resources to be maximized.

(2) Perfect Collection: As an institution of national intellectual and cultural heritage, the Library aims for a flawless collection of domestic resources.

(3) Hybrid Collection: Print resources should be the focus for collection development, but since in consideration of licensing costs, approachability, accessibility, degrees of demand, chances of visiting, and preservation capacity, etc. the preferable available forms for resources that need to be complemented or replaced are electronic formats.
A balance between preservation and approachability should be pursued by collecting a blend of print and electronic resources.

(4) Back-up Collection: According to format and/or subject, resources are complemented through the verification and purchasing of resources not included in the legal deposit; the supplementation of missing issues of periodicals; the repair, restoration, replacement, and migration of damaged resources; and the reproduction of resources not included in the collections.

(5) Sharing Collection: Through cooperation with other national-level libraries, the Library should raise the efficiency of budget appropriations and minimize the redundancy in resources by dividing development into separate tasks related to specific subjects, costly resources, web databases, gray literature, and online information resources.

4. Basic Principles of Collection Development
  • National collections are not developed simply for contemporary library visitors, but also in consideration of potential visitors from future generations.
  • Development targets comprehensiveness in the collections, but can be selective when it is difficult to collect the entirety of resources and with regards to resources of subjects, formats, and languages impossible in practice to collect.
  • Library collections are developed in consideration of intellectual and cultural significance, academic and research import, and potential value, but in a direction that minimizes imbalance in the composition of the collections.
  • Resources are selected from a neutral point of view that transcends the personal philosophies, religions, and political views of libraries or librarians.
  • When collecting library resources, the number of copies to be made is determined based on preservation needs and the potential for damage when used or copied.
  • The systematic and balanced nature of the composition of the collections is to be maintained. To that end, collections are periodically evaluated to ensure that core resources, peripheral resources, and educational resources have been evenly collected.
  • Based on the intellectual aspirations of the work, a wide range of resources from general-culture resources for the public to specialized academic research resources are collected.
  • Resources with identical content yet published (produced) in a variety of formats are collected in the best version of each format. However, busts or other three-dimensional items that require exceptional treatment are not collected.
  • Since the lifecycles of resources vary depending on their format, resources that require long-term preservation or that are expected to be subject to high demand are collected with priority given to print media.
  • If resources with identical content exist in a variety of formats such as print copies, micro-reproductions, CD-ROMs, and digital files (HTML, PDF, etc.), they are to be collected in the order of: print copies, digital files, CD-ROMs, and micro-reproductions.
  • Regarding electronic resources provided through an online network such as e-books, e-magazines, web databases, and information resources that are distributed through websites, a separate collection development policy is established in consideration of the resource’s production, distribution value and user preferences.