A woman stands in front of shelves of books, holding a pile of books and smiling.

Mel Couper is part of the team managing the Libraries ACT collection.

15 February 2024

The Libraries ACT collection offers hundreds of thousands of items for Canberrans to borrow. But have you ever wondered how new items are added to it?

Libraries ACT collects a wide range of quality resources in both existing and emerging formats.

This ensures their collection has broad appeal while enhancing learning opportunities and informing, entertaining and connecting people, groups and communities.

There are over 350,000 physical items available. And that’s not even counting the ebooks and eaudiobooks that can be downloaded, or movies and music that can be streamed for free!

The Libraries ACT collections team has overall responsibility for selecting new library materials and resources. The team is always guided by community needs, analysis of collection use and customer and staff suggestions.

“Suggestions from library customers for materials not already in the collection are a valuable way for the libraries team to connect with the community and acquire materials users want and need,” collection librarian Mel Couper said.

The team also liaises with key ACT community groups and cultural organisations to develop collections of relevance and interest to these communities.

“Standing orders with suppliers are also used to ensure rapid acquisition of known popular authors or series that are usually in high demand, with standing order plans reviewed each year,” Mel said.

Libraries ACT aims to have a current, vibrant and attractive collection, with approximately half the collection less than five years old.

The team actively removes items from the collection by reviewing the use and physical condition of items and taking into account storage capacity at libraries across the ACT and the currency and accuracy of the information.

You can check out the full list of items available to borrow online as well as the standing orders for new publications.

If an item you’d like to access isn’t in the collection (or on order) you can submit a suggestion to add it to the collection.

Libraries ACT just ask that you read the guidelines for suggestions and limit your suggestions to two items per week.

Libraries ACT aims to meet the needs and expectations of Canberra’s library users.

Careful selection and management of material by professional, experienced staff, along with the input from the community, ensures the wide-ranging educational, cultural, recreational and information needs of library users are met.

To search the collection, view the standing orders or suggest an item to add to the collection visit the Libraries ACT website.

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