Collection policy management for the Kuopio University and Kuopio University Hospital, Finland: detecting the needs of users and developing high-quality collections
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Background: This article discusses the collection policies of a university library in a modern digital environment. A brief description of national collection policy decisions in Finland is provided. The rapid evolution and growth of scientific publication places new demands on building a collection in a health and bioscience orientated university, and it requires an evidence-based approach to support effective service processes. Objectives: The aim of the study was to identify the needs of the university's students and staff. Methods: Usage statistics were surveyed and analysed. Results: Both usage statistics and user surveys indicate that the library use is divided half-and-half between the traditional use of printed material and library premises and the modern use of digital materials via the Web. The former is mainly the way that the students and hospital staff use the library, and the latter can be viewed as the researchers' way of using the library. Librarians and information specialists act in this as service providers and/or guides and tutors to the end-users. These results, however, must be validated with a longer timescale data collation and analysis, both of which are an ongoing process within the library. Conclusions: It is important that requirements and needs of the library's users are monitored regularly and acquisition policies are updated frequently. It also seems that the needs have changed quite dramatically in response to modern ways of disseminating publications, but this supposition will require further study.