The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Library collects, organizes, preserves and provides access to a rich and unique record of human thought and creativity in a variety of formats, in support of the teaching, research, and mission of the university. As one of the world’s leading research libraries, and in keeping with JHU’s global reach, the library also strives to support the global community of scholars through our collections and services.

Librarians collect in appropriate and available formats by developing strategies that provide for the anticipated needs of patrons. Availability of digital content varies due to disciplinary and geographic differences, developments in the publishing marketplace, and technological advances. JHU librarians assess the Library’s collections for quality and accessibility, and foster peer relationships within the library profession to better inform JHU’s library collection building. Librarians have professional responsibility to be inclusive in collection development and understand the collections must represent the diversity of people and ideas in our society. The library has the obligation to select and support access to content on all subjects that meet, as closely as possible, the needs, interests, and abilities of all persons in the community in which JHU serves.

Academic libraries have limited resources to collect comprehensively in all subject areas and therefore supplement collections through interlibrary borrowing and lending programs. The JHU Libraries participates in several consortial arrangements, and seek collaborations with other libraries, publishers, commercial and open access enterprises, open source communities, and digital initiatives, in order to maximize access to resources.

This Collection Development Philosophy guides the work of collection managers and subject specialists across the JHU Libraries. Collection development statements for specific disciplines or departments describe priorities and operational approaches appropriate to those disciplines, but all collection development work is clearly aligned with the strategic goals and priorities of JHU Libraries.