Collection Development Policy

Purpose and Scope of Policy

  1. The Trust provides psychological treatments for all age groups to help prevent mental distress.  It has a national training remit to provide training to the health and social care workforce in mental health areas.  The Library was formally set up in 1946 and included material held by the Tavistock Clinic dating from when it was originally established in 1920 to counsel shell shocked victims from the First World War.
  2. The Library’s Collection Development Policy reflects the mission of the Library to support the clinical, research, training and consultancy functions of the Trust by acquiring, developing and maintaining relevant resources and making these widely available to staff and students.
  3. The Library has a collection of books, journals, multimedia items, pamphlets, theses, a historical collection (relating to the development of the psychological therapies and the pre-2007 publications of Tavistock and Portman Clinic staff) and an electronic repository for staff publications (post-2007). The collection includes paper and electronic formats with an increasing emphasis on electronic provision.

Acquisition Guidelines

  • The Library is allocated a resources budget based on the previous year’s allocation and any projected increase in the cost of texts, subscription fees for journals and electronic resources.
  • The specialist nature of the collection means that the Library needs to retain much older material in comparison to more general health, medical and social care libraries but also needs to ensure that the collection reflects new and up-to-date research and clinical developments in the Trust’s specialist fields.
  • Any item legally published will be considered for selection, subject to material being relevant, affordable and value for money.
  • All publications by current permanent Trust staff are acquired where available. The Trust has an electronic repository – Staff Publications Online – which contains over 1000 full-text publications by current and former staff of the Trust dating back to 2007 as well as Trust doctoral theses.  These are freely available via the Library’s website.
  • Suggestions for acquisition and purchase are welcomed from all staff, students and trainees of the Trust and can be made via the Library’s online catalogue.  Responsibility for selection rests ultimately with the Head of Library and Learning Resources, the Deputy Librarian and the Systems Librarian.
  • New titles and resources acquired are posted on the Library’s website shortly after receipt.
    Course-related material

    • The Library will aim to purchase all appropriate course-related materials.
    • the Head of the Library Service is a member of the Trust’s Learning and Teaching Committee (chaired by one of the Trust vice deans) which meets monthly Collection and aquisition issues are raised when new courses and new areas of training and research are developed.
    • the Library’s personal librarian service (named staff members who have responsibilty for supporting a portfolio of courses with library-related queries) is proactive in encouraging course tutors and leads to highlight new themes and updating readings for their courses.
    • The Library manages an online course readings service which provides full-text access to most core readings for current courses.  These are made available, where Copyright permits, either as a direct PDF copy or an electronic book or journal link (secure institutional login required).  Multiple copies are only purchased where a title has no electronic equivalent or is recommended for several courses.
    • Teaching staff are responsible for ensuring the timely supply of reading lists to the library, in order that materials can be located, bought and supplied in advance of demand. It is recommended that a minimum of three months’ advance notice is given.
  • Research material
    • this matrerial is purchased to support Trust-wide and departmental research interests.  Examples include reports from Government and research bodies and materials from professional bodies (such as the Psychological Society. Where online access is not available material may be considered for purchase.
    • psychological tests are not generally purchased due to cost and the problems associated with stock control for this form of material. The Library will consider purchasing texts and handbooks associated with tests and suggest possible sources of tests for individuals to order.
    • The Library will not purchase material for the sole use of individuals or offices.
  • Supplementary material
    • Supplementary material is purchased as background reading for student course and project work and in developing research fields within health, social care and criminal justice.


  1. The Library aims to provide material in a variety of formats and will develop the collection to ensure that all those who use its resources are able to do so in an equitable and accessible way.
  2. Print, electronic and multimedia formats are acquired on the basis of information content which is relevant to the Trust’s areas of service provision.
  3. Where a variety of formats are available the format offering widest access at a reasonable price, and acceptable terms and conditions of use, will be preferred.
  4. Electronic material is accessed either via open access arrangements or via subscription and secure institutional login.
  5. New formats will be introduced into the collection as they become available and where they are relevant and accessible.


  1. The Library is willing to consider donated items but reserves the right to decline offers of donations.
  2. Anyone contacting the Library with an offer of donations are asked to send in a list of titles which they would like to donate so that titles can be checked against the Library’s current holdings.
  3. The Library reserves the right to choose only those titles which will enhance the collection or as additional copies to popular texts. Any titles which are not retained by the Library will usually be offered to the Trust’s trainees and students at no charge.

Other Collections


  1. The Library has a policy, in line with U.K. University libraries, of receiving doctoral and Masters’ theses in electronic format. Records are added to the online catalogue with a link to the full-text thesis if available.
  2. Masters theses:
    1. we aim to receive electronic copies of Masters’ theses as provided via the Trust’s Quality Unit from the Trust’s University partner, University of Essex, who validate the majority of the Trust’s courses.
    2. full-text Masters’ theses can be accessed via the Library Catalogue but can only be viewed via secure institutional login by staff and students of the Trust.
    3. in line with university retention policies Masters’ theses are retained for a five year period only unless the thesis is popular and continues to be of relevance to the work and study of the Trust
  3. Doctoral theses:  The Library holds theses awarded for both taught Doctorate courses and ‘by publication’
    1. these are freely available via the institutional repository Staff Publications Online with a record on the Library’s online catalogue linking to the online copy.
    2. Doctoral theses are retained in perpetuity.

4.  Where a thesis has been restricted (for example due to potentially identifying information or material), this is indicated on the public records and access is on request to the author via the Library.

Audio-Visual Collection

  1. The Library holds a small collection of audio and visual recordings covering Trust’s presentations and conferences, commercially purchased and off air broadcasts.
  2. The Library no longer makes off-air recordings but, as part of our membership of Learning on Screen (the British Universities Film and Video Council) we will obtain, on request, off air broadcasts which are relevant to teaching and research at the Trust.
  3. We also subscribe to the BUFVC’s Box of Broadcasts (BoB) service which provides on demand radio and television broadcasts for educational use along with other commercial subscription video resources such as the SAGE Counseling and Psychotherapy video collection. These can all be searched via our website.
  4. We also purchase commercial recordings as necessary via providers such as Concord Media who have specialist documentary collections in the areas of health and social care.
  5. We retain an archive of recordings of Trust Scientific meetings (presentations of clinical work and research or new services) and conferences. Recordings are made within copyright and intellectual property regulations and made available to staff and students of the Trust.
  6. Recordings are checked annually for use and those never requested for teaching withdrawn from the collection or archived.

The Library keeps a small collection of pamphlets:

  1. These include unbound short briefing papers from relevant bodies (such as the National Children’s Bureau), unpublished works by Trust staff (also included as a Tavistock Clinic Papers series) and copyright cleared papers used for course readings.
  2. Unpublished pamphlets by current and former Trust staff have been digitised and made available via  Institutional login.
  3. The collection is checked annually for relevance and condition.



  1. The Library holds a small historical collection of printed materials relating to the history and development of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and psychodynamic social work
  2. We also maintain a small archival collection relating to the history and development of the Tavistock Clinic Library
  3. The majority of the Library’s archive collection on the history and development of the Tavistock and Portman Clinics and its subsequent bodies (such as annual reports, minutes of the Clinics and the Trust) dating from the 1920s were transferred to the London Metropolitan Archives in 2017.
  4. A separate Archives Collection, Management and Preservation Policy is available.

Foreign Language Material

  1. Foreign language book titles are only added to the collection for publications by members of staff.  These are usually foreign language translations of a title already published in English and donated by either the author or the publisher.
  2. Electronic journals and database resources will include some publications in foreign languages.

Physical Management and Preservation

  1. The Library’s collection is accessed via the website at
  2. All books (print and electronic), theses and web resources are catalogued and subject classfied and added to the Catalogue
  3. The electronic repository, Staff Publications Online is accessed via the main Trust web page at
  4. All new books are catalogued and added to the New Books display as soon after receipt as possible.  Notification of new resources is tweeted and posted on our New Books  Pinterest  Board on the Library’s website.
  5. All material except journals and the archive collection are classified and indexed using the Bliss Bibliographic Classification (2nd edition).
  6. The print collections are kept in the Loans Collection Room (books) and the Computer Cluster Room (journals) and in the main Library area.
  7. Electronic resources (books, journals and web resources) are accessed via the Library web site either through the catalogue or the Discovery link.  Where required, access is via institutional login (Shibboleth).
  8. For the physical stock repair, rebinding or repurchasing is undertaken as appropriate.  Preservation of the physical collection is included in the Library Disaster plan and the Archives Policy
  9. The Deputy Librarian conducts a stock review of the physical book collection on an annual basis and the Systems Librarian conducts a similar process for the journal collection.  The Head of Service and Systems Librarian also review the relevance of electronic databases annually and trial new resources on a regular basis.
  10. Criteria for review and relegation are based either on number of times issued (via the reporting system on the Catalogue and last checkout date)  or currency for books and on usage statistics for e-journals.  Consideration is given to the need to retain older, classic material which is fundamental to the study and practice of the psychological therapies.
  11. Where possible, print material is disposed of to charitable or second-hand organisations.
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