Fundamentals of Collection Development & Management

This four-week online course addresses the basic components of collection development and management (CDM) in libraries. The course was developed by Peggy Johnson, University of Minnesota. Complete definition of collection development and collection management:

  • collections policies and budgets as part of library planning
  • collection development (selecting for and building collections)
  • collection management (evaluating and making decisions about existing collections, including decisions about withdrawal, transfer, preservation)
  • collection analysis—why and how to do it
  • outreach, liaison, and marketing
  • trends and some suggestions about the future for collection development and management


At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the range of CDM responsibilities and the required skills and competencies.
  • List the elements in a collection development policy.
  • Write a collection development policy.
  • Explain the importance of collection analysis.
  • Perform one or more types of analysis.
  • Explain outreach and liaison responsibilities and be able to develop a plan to increase your activities in these areas.

Who Should Attend?

This is a fundamentals course that will appeal to anyone interested in the topic with no previous experience.

Taking a web course is different than taking a traditional course in a classroom. Read Are You Ready for Online Learning to make sure the web course structure is right for you.

Course Level & Prerequisites

This is a fundamentals course with no prerequisites.

Course Syllabus


  • Brian Quinn is Coordinator of Collection Development at Texas Tech University.
  • Susanne Clement is Director, Quinney Library, College of Natural Resources (Utah).
  • Jennifer Arnold is Director of Library Services, Central Piedmont (N.C.) Community College.
  • Jeanette Mosey, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • Janet Marnatti is Collection Management Director at Bucks County (Pa.) Free Library.
  • Andrea Wirth is Collection Development and Science Librarian at Oregon State University.
  • Melissa DeWild is Collection Development Manager at Kent (Mi.) District Library.


2015 Sessions

  • Session 1: March 9 – April 3
  • Session 2: April 27 – May 22
  • Session 3: August 3 – August 28
  • Session 4: October 5 – October 30
  • Session 5: November 16 – December 11


8 contact hours.

Certificates of completion are sent upon successful completion (passing score of 70% or higher) of the course.

This course is one-third of the Collection Management elective course approved by the Library Support Staff Certification Program (LSSCP). Collection Management Elective FAQ


$109 ALCTS members; $139 nonmembers

Technical Requirements

A Moodle-developed site is composed of self-paced modules with facilitated interaction led by the instructors. There are predetermined start and end dates and a suggested pace which include interaction with the instructors and your classmates. Students regularly use the forum and chat room functions to facilitate their class participation. Section quizzes are offered and feedback given, but there is no final class grade.

The course web site will be open for one week prior to the start date for students to have access to Moodle instructions and set their browser correctly. The course site will remain open one week after the end date for students to complete any sections and submit the course evaluation survey.


To register, complete the online form or register by mail for the session you would like to attend.

Registration Deadline

Registration for each course is limited to 20 people. For courses that are not sold out, online and fax registration ends at 12 noon CDT on the Monday before the course begins. Mailed registration forms must be postmarked by two Mondays prior to the course start date.

Cancelation & Change Policy

Any requests for cancelation or changes to registration must be received in writing by ALCTS or the ALA registration department (MACS) no later than 7 days prior to the start of the course and are subject to a $40 processing fee.


For questions about registration, contact ALA Registration by calling 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 or email

For all other questions or comments related to the webinars, contact Julie Reese, ALCTS Events Manager at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5034 or