Collection requirements plan

The collection requirements plan provides you with an holistic framework for identifying your resource needs. It provides you with a working tool as you select and source print and e-resources to meet the needs of your school.


Purpose for having a collection requirements plan
Preparing to write your collection requirements plan
The 21st century school library collection
Specific areas of need
Collection requirements templates

Purpose for having a collection requirements plan

The collection requirements plan enables you to take a holistic approach to identifying, prioritising and documenting your library collection needs. This plan will be based on the criteria for collection development described in your school library collection guiding statement, and on consultation with subject specialists in your school (especially for secondary) and syndicate leaders and classroom teachers in primary schools.

Your collection requirements plan is the ideal tool to use for recording your findings as you undertake the assessment of any section of your library collection.

The collection requirements plan will provide:

  • a framework for identifying library resource needs
  • a working tool for your library team as they select and source free or purchased resources (print and online)

This plan can be adjusted in line with changes to your school-wide reading and curriculum programmes.

Preparing to write your collection requirements plan

As you draft your plan, ensure that you are planning to develop your library collection in line with the needs of your school. Partnerships and collaborative relationships between library and teaching staff are essential. Your preparation will include investigating:

  • curriculum focus – consult with staff, including specialist units and whānau, to establish what resources the library needs to provide access to, to support reading and specific teaching and learning programmes in the school
  • any special characteristics of your school that need to be taken into account when developing your collection. The School Community Profile Form can be useful for recording these.
  • student use, both at school and home, of a range of desktop and mobile devices
  • the availability of magazine databases and digital resources
  • resources which might be available elsewhere in the school

Evidence-based sources of information to support your decisions may include:

  • results of your collection assessment
  • reading data
  • information gathered through your library software programme
  • results of staff and student surveys
  • discussion with teaching staff, literacy leaders and Heads of Department (HODs)
  • school curriculum planning documents

The 21st century school library collection

With access to the internet and the increase in e-book publishing, school library collections are no longer limited to physical, purchased items which sit on shelves. Supporting students in the 21st century, who have expectations of 24/7 access to information, means thinking as broadly as possible about how you resource your collection.

When planning your collection requirements, expand your notion of “collection” and consider the following resources (where relevant to your community).

Fiction - including:

  • e-books (via subscription to an e-book lending platform where digital rights are managed for you) or freely available titles such as those on through the International Children’s Digital Library
  • picture books
  • sophisticated picture books
  • chapter books
  • graphic novels /comics
  • teenage novels
  • adult novels
  • audio books
  • DVDs
  • online book trailers and book reviews eg Create Readers blog and Read it! Loved it!
  • author websites

Find out more about e-books for your school library

Non-Fiction - including:

  • books
  • e-books
  • audio books
  • DVDs
  • curriculum related websites
  • Posters or display charts that support the topic
  • High interest topics on the Services to Schools website
  • Primary sources gallery
  • YouTube clips
  • graphic novel / comic format non-fiction
  • newspaper and magazine articles – print and digital including those freely available through TKI,or INNZ – and magazine articles from New Zealand magazines, and Papers Past.

Fiction titles may be used to support topics such as emotions, first day at school, new baby, refugees, popular culture, right up to Year 13 themes on betrayal, oppression, innocence, challenges, among many others.

Non-fiction will appeal to many students for leisure reading as well as for curriculum related study.

Reference resources

  • Many reference resources are now offered online and are fast replacing print reference collections in libraries at all levels e.g. Britannica School, available free to all schools via TKI. For registration contact EPIC.

Specific areas of need

These are suggestions and may not all apply to every school every year. The areas you choose to focus on will be decided by the reading and learning needs throughout your school, as well as information from your community profile form. Specific needs might include catering for:

  • Māori and Pasifika
  • English Language Learners
  • Low reading level / high interest level
  • Reluctant readers
  • Year 12 and Year 13 themed reading for NCEA Levels 2 & 3
  • Special needs particular to your school students – blind, deaf, dyslexic

Collection requirements templates

The collection requirements template has been provided as a working sheet for all those contributing to and working on these decisions and priorities. Take a look at the worked examples if this is your first time using the form.

image: Zen by Juan Salmoral on Flickr