Collection Development Policy


The Collection Development Policy is a statement of NLB's steadfast commitment to promote lifelong learning, to be an excellent source of information, and to provide rich, interesting and useful collections that continually evolve with our readers' changing needs and expectations. NLB takes special care over children’s collections to ensure that they are age-appropriate.

Selection criteria

  • Selectors consider the merits of each title in relation to the needs and interests of our users, the other titles in the collection, budget availability and space considerations. Each work is evaluated in its entirety and need not meet all of these criteria in order for it to be selected.
  • The following criteria are applied in the selection of all works:
    • authority and reputation of writer, publisher, producer or illustrator
    • literary, creative, scholarly or technical merit
    • accuracy of information
    • value of work in relation to its cost
    • literary prizes or recognitions awarded to the work or author
    • timeliness
    • expressed or anticipated reader interest or demand, indicated by measures such as circulation of similar materials, readers' requests and customer surveys
    • good quality illustrations
    • durable binding and paper
    • inclusion of special features such as maps, inserts or attachments which may be difficult to process
    • if a work is available in several formats, the following is considered : the format which would better satisfy the above selection criteria, format preferred by our readers, the level of usage, accessibility, availability and cost


NLB excludes materials that are critical of any racial or religious groups that contain derogatory stereotypes, promote intolerance, violence and any other insensitive material that is excessive. Also excluded are books containing sexually explicit and graphically violent text, photography and illustrations of extreme nature. Additionally, NLB complies with the regulations and directives on these matters from the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA).

NLB does not purchase most specialised, scholarly and highly technical materials that are of limited community interest. Many of these materials can be found in law, medical and other special libraries in Singapore.