Collection Development

What is collection development? 

According to the library resource Developing Library and Information Center Collections, collection development is "the process of systematically building the collection of a particular library to meet the information needs of the library users in a timely and economical manner using information resources locally held as well as resources from other organizations." Crafting an exceptional library collection that is diverse and appealing to patrons is no easy task and requires a particular methodology for success. 

How can Video Librarian help? 

Video Librarian is here to help media librarians of all libraries with developing robust film collections. Our reviews emphasize what GENRE shelves or academic SUBJECTS the films would be suitable for, providing your patrons or students with educational and entertaining viewing experiences. You can find all reviews of a particular SUBJECT or GENRE on our DISCOVER page. 

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What steps should I follow when developing a robust film collection? 

Policies development 
Written selection guidelines that provide staff with the tools to access and evaluate potential additional collection materials as well as basis for denying the acceptance of materials. Think of it like a collection development mission statement for you and your other library leaders. 

User needs analysis

The process of learning more about a target population/ patrons with a view in order to identify their information needs.

It is important for libraries to develop an evaluation method that combines checking against lists of popular titles, statistical information and analysis in order to develop a criteria for what kind of library collection you will take, taking care to develop a unique collection. 

The American Library Association defines collection development as "selecting materials that are desired by the community as well as fulfilling other educational and recreational criteria." 


Once the following items have been taken care of, libraries can undergo the acquisition process which involves purchasing titles (books, DVDs, etc.) for their collection. Video Librarian assists librarians with the acquisition process by guiding them to suitable films that will work for their patrons. 

This is a dynamic, multi-faceted process that involves multiple processes such as the replacement of worn or lost materials, the removal (weeding) of materials no longer needed in the collection, planning for new collections or collection areas, and cooperating with other libraries. 

Weeding is the process of deselecting library materials is a planned and systematic way. This can involve discarding or transferring to storage of excess copies or rarely-used items. If not weeded through on a regular basis, a collection can quickly age and become difficult to use.

Collection Development

Film collection development for public libraries

Public librarians must focus on subjects and genres (for books, films, etc.) that would interest their patrons. These are often titles with more entertainment than educational value. Media librarians can look at our DISCOVER page for more ideas on what film GENRES to include in their DVD collections. 

Film collection development for academic libraries

Academic libraries must support a university or school's multi-discplinary and diverse curriculum by serving the academic programs that students will be studying and faculty teaching. Academic libraries should provide varied materials, or options for resource sharing, so that students may conduct in-depth research for their scholarly papers, theses, etc. Academic librarians should focus on the SUBJECT section of our DISCOVER page to find the right films for their classrooms.

Sorting your film collection by holidays

One of the easiest ways to develop your library programming is to acquire films that commemorate specific holidays. These dates are spread throughout the year, so you can use a wide array of library resources. 

Take a look at our full topic list of holiday films to see your options for developing your film collection based on special days. 

Sorting your film collection by genre

Patrons and students have varied tastes—whether it be horror, comedy, or action—and your film collection must reflect that. A diverse film collection will attract your entire library community, so it is important to acqure  titles from all sorts of genres. You can find a full list on our discover page in the genre section.  

Sorting your film collection by book adaptations

Book adaptations are another great way to build your film collection and appeal to patrons of all different ages. There are lots of oppurtunities for unique library programming or film series screenings based on one particular author or a genre. Book to film adaptations are also a great way to capitalize on the newest film releases and draw more attention from your community. See our full topic list of based on a book titles.