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LIV Library Policies

The LIV library has developed the following policy to assist with development, preservation and future direction of the collection of the Law Institute of Victoria Library.

Collection Development Policy

1. Introduction

To provide a highly relevant and reliable library service and collection to align with the modern informational needs of our members, our staff and the legal community it services. Resources and services will be delivered in different formats to meet the technological and practice management changes of the profession. 

2. Purpose of the Collection Development Policy

This collection management document is designed as a guide to the development, preservation and future direction of the collection of the Law Institute of Victoria Library.

This policy will allow present and future Librarians to consistently select resources based upon stated criteria and to provide access to an array of legal information sources in required formats. 

3. Collection Scope

As of July 2020, the Law Institute Library collection includes a comprehensive collection of legal textbooks, journals, authorised and specialised law reports, from Australian and United Kingdom jurisdictions, seminar papers law reform commission papers, loose-leaf services, assorted annual reports and multimedia materials. The collection comprises of both hard copy and digital resources. 

4. User Profile

  • Practising and non-practising members of the Law Institute of Victoria
  • Legal Professional holding a Victorian Practising Certificate
  • Staff of the Law Institute of Victoria
  • Law firms whose staff include members of the Law Institute of Victoria
  • Student members of the Law Institute of Victoria
  • Law Librarians 

5. Selection Criteria

5.1 Scope and coverage

The Library Manager is responsible for materials selection in accordance with the collection policy.

The Library will review its collection continuously in conjunction with the selection of new and replacement volumes. All subscriptions are evaluated annually.

Input is actively sought from all library staff members if there is some question as to the continued usefulness of a publication. Criteria to be considered in the evaluation of materials for likely purchase include:

  • Significance of the subject matter based on the existing collection
  • Potential use
  • Accuracy and quality of the information
  • Reputation of the author
  • Authority of the publisher
  • Current or permanent value to the collection
  • Availability of material on the subject
  • Availability of materials or information in other formats in the collection, availability of material or information in other libraries and information agencies, availability of material or information online
  • Price, including initial purchase price and maintenance costs
  • Physical format of the material
  • Statistical usage reports

5.2 Jurisdictions

The Library collects law relating to Victoria as a priority, then Commonwealth law, the law of the other Australian states and English and overseas law applicable to Victoria or Australia.

5.3 Format

The Library collects and maintains access to materials in digital, print and multimedia services with a preference to purchase in a digital format where available. However essential to the choice of format decision are the standards of:

  • Frequency of use
  • Cost of different formats
  • Availability and costs of equipment necessary to access the resource
  • Staff support required
  • Space requirements of the equivalent hard copy 

6. Standards for specific formats

6.1 Seminar papers

The Library acquires continuing seminar papers from the Law Institute of Victoria, Television Education Network and other recognised organisations and publishers of seminar papers.

6.2 Journals

The Library acquires the major general legal journals of Australia, the law journals of the Australian universities and specialised subject journals where relevant. The Library also subscribes to Australian and select overseas official law society journals or newsletters and other journals with subject coverage of management, training and business. Journals are also received through a gratis arrangement with other libraries and institutions.

6.3 Digital resources

Consideration must be given to the following specific selection criteria as well as the general criteria listed at 5.1:

  • Physical format and delivery requirements
  • Relationship of content of electronic version to other versions
  • Methods of updating content
  • Usability of software need for staff support and instruction
  • Search response times
  • Display options
  • Licensing terms including remote access availability
  • Customer support 

7. Duplication

The Library may acquire duplicate copies of secondary sources if the work is considered to be substantial and if usage patterns dictate. It is standard policy for no duplication. The Library will consider the cost of the material and its availability through other libraries. 

8. Donations

LIV Members, staff and members of the legal profession can seek to donate material to the LIV Library. Offers of donations are welcome but the Librarian reserves the right to reject or offer alternative avenues for donations if the item/s do/es not meet the requirements of the collection. 

9. Retention

The following categories of material are retained in storage:

  • Materials published by, and unique to the Law Institute of Victoria
  • Materials belonging to the Pat Hogan Collection
  • Superseded Victorian legislation reprints
  • Superseded editions of legal directories
  • Superseded editions of Law Lists
  • Superseded editions of textbooks and loose-leaf services
  • Rare, valuable or in poor condition items 

10. Cooperative arrangements

10.1 Inter Library Lending

Members and staff of the Law Institute at times have information needs that require access to resources not held by the Library. Therefore, the Library supplements its collection by participating in inter library lending and document delivery reciprocal arrangements with other information agencies and providers. 

11. Binding

Two copies of the Law Institute Journal are bound annually for preservation purposes. 

12. Collection Review

The Library Manager continuously reviews the collection, to ensure that materials in the collection support the Library's objectives of serving the information needs of its users.

Deselection - removal from the collection, or cancellation of subscriptions, of marginal interest is needed to maintain the quality and usefulness of the collection. Criteria to be considered in the weeding or subscription cancellation include:

  • Currency of the subject matter
  • Physical condition of the material
  • Duplication of materials
  • Format 

13. Policy Review

This collection development policy should be relevant and needs to be reviewed regularly by the Library Manager in consultation with library staff to accurately reflect the changing needs of the library and the Law Institute of Victoria.

Version History

Version Date Author Details
1.0 2017 Belinda Schembri Creation of document
1.1 2017 Sue Woodman Approved
2.0 2020 Tasia Mitsinikos Updating of document
2.1 2020 Duncan Pittard Approved


Last revised April 2021