IFN617 Managing and Organising Collections

Unit synopsis

Developing, managing and organising dynamic and relevant collections is an exciting challenge for contemporary information professionals. This unit provides students with a grounding in theory and taking a practical approach. You will undertake a user needs analysis, develop a pilot collection, and create a prototype database in which the collection is described for retrieval and access by users.

Science and Engineering Faculty
Information Science
Study area
Information technology
Credit points

Dates and locations

Teaching period Locations
Semester 2, 2018
23 July 2018 - 16 November 2018
  • Gardens Point
  • Gardens Point (External)


Commonwealth supported place (CSP) student contribution amount
2018: $1,148
Domestic fee-paying student fee
2018: $2,532
International student fee
2018: $3,576

Guide to fees

Commonwealth supported place (CSP) student contribution amount
For Australian citizens, permanent visa holders and permanent humanitarian visa holders, and New Zealand citizens who study this unit:
  • as part of a QUT course and are eligible for a Commonwealth supported place (CSP)
  • as a cross-institutional student who has a Commonwealth supported place at their home university.
Domestic fee-paying student fee
For Australian citizens, permanent visa holders and permanent humanitarian visa holders, and New Zealand citizens, who study this unit:
  • as part of a QUT course and are not eligible for a Commonwealth supported place (CSP)
  • as part of a QUT course during Summer Semester
  • as a cross-institutional student who does not have a Commonwealth supported place at their home university
  • as a single-unit study student.
International student fee
For international students who study this unit:
  • as part of a QUT course
  • as part of our study abroad or exchange programs
  • as a cross-institutional student.

Previous study requirements


Guide to previous study requirements

To enrol in this unit, you must have completed these prerequisite units (or have credit, advanced standing or exemption for them), or be able to demonstrate that you have equivalent background knowledge.
You can’t enrol in this unit if you have completed any of these anti-requisite units.
To enrol in this unit, you must have already completed these co-requisite units, or you must enrol in them at the same time.
You can’t enrol in this unit if you have completed any of these equivalent units.
Assumed knowledge
We assume that you have a minimum level of knowledge in certain areas before you start this unit.

Unit outlines


Developing, managing and organising collections are primary functions of libraries, archives, information organisations, and other collecting institutions. All information professionals - regardless of context or specialisations - must understand the principles and practices of managing and organising collections. This introductory unit focuses on identifying and meeting the information needs of diverse user groups to inform collecting and organising practices. It provides you with an opportunity to develop understanding of practice and theory related to: collecting policies and strategies; methods for acquiring resources, developing and managing collections; and standards for resource description and organisation. The unit allows students to explore the link between user needs and collecting practices, which is critical to ensure collections are designed and delivered to meet the needs of users, and in turn, that users can make effective use of them.


This unit seeks to develop your understanding of the key issues involved in developing, managing and organising information and other resources. It aims to facilitate development of skills and knowledge related to selecting, acquiring, managing, describing and classifying information and other resources in a variety of contexts, including libraries and information centres.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit, you will:

1. Understand and apply knowledge of contemporary issues in collecting and organising information.
2. Understand the practice of assessing user needs and how to apply user insight to the development, management and organisation of information.
3. Understand and apply tools, methods and standards for contemporary collection development, management and organisation, including: selection, acquisition, deselection, and evaluation of resources; resource description and classification.
4. Design a bibliographic database to meet the specific information needs of a client or community.


Class activities will provide a balanced focus on theory and the practical aspects of organising information and will work towards the completion of assessment items. The unit focuses on developing skills and knowledge related to:

  • policy and strategy for collection management
  • assessing user needs
  • selecting and acquiring resources
  • maintaining, managing and evaluating collections
  • describing and classifying resources, including relevant standards, rules and guidelines
  • integrated library management systems and other indexing databases, including design of databases
  • contemporary issues and topics in collecting and organising resources

    The unit explores collecting and organising practices of libraries and information organisations of different types, including:

  • school, public, special and academic libraries
  • information centres
  • other collecting institutions including archives
  • organisational units including those involved in information management, document management, content management, and recordkeeping.

    Approaches to teaching and learning

    Multi-mode delivery
    This unit is offered in a blended delivery mode. It can be undertaken internally, externally, or a combination of both. You are encouraged to move between the different modes of delivery, as you need throughout the semester. The unit incorporate a range of learning activities designed to provide a quality learning experience regardless of the learning mode.

    Timetabled classes take place on campus and/or online. You may have the opportunity to attend on campus classes virtually. All classes are recorded and recordings are made available on the unit site.

    Teaching and learning strategies
    The unit's teaching and learning strategies are designed to encourage you to develop both theoretical understanding and practical skills. Lectures, workshops, online learning resources and readings introduce concepts and stimulate your thinking concerning principles, philosophy and theory. Guest lecturers provide context by exploring practical applications and implications. Activities and assessment are designed to foster critical engagement with unit content and opportunities to explore the practical applications of theory.

    The unit design is based on the concept of a community of learners. Emphasis is placed on group discussion so you can explore and share key ideas. You are expected to participate in the learning experience by attending, interacting and reflecting on all classes, or by watching recordings of classes and engaging with your peers online.

    You are also expected to undertake a wide variety of reading, both recommended readings and independent reading.The unit site is the hub for learning and the primary tool for information. Social media - including Facebook and Twitter - may also be used as supplementary communication channels.

    Each core unit in the Master of Information Science focuses on developing a specific generic capability. In this unit, you will develop skills and knowledge with regard to creating web and multimedia content, markup, and working in teams.

    In this unit, you will develop skills and knowledge with regard to preparing high quality business reports. You will also develop an understanding of assessing user needs and designing solutions that meet those needs.

    Assessment items

    Name #1: Report
    DescriptionCollection Development Project You will develop a small collection based on the needs of a community group or organisation and document your decision making.
    Due dateMid-Semester
    Internal or externalInternal
    Group or individualIndividual
    Relates to learning outcomesAll
    Name #2: Project (applied)
    DescriptionBibliographic Database You will develop a prototype database and an accompanying report based on the needs of a community group or organisation.
    Due dateEnd of Semester
    Internal or externalInternal
    Group or individualGroup with Individual Component
    Relates to learning outcomesAll

    Academic integrity

    QUT is committed to maintaining high academic standards to protect the value of its qualifications. To assist you in assuring the academic integrity of your assessment you are encouraged to make use of the support materials and services available to help you consider and check your assessment items. Important information about the university's approach to academic integrity of assessment is on your unit Blackboard site.

    A breach of academic integrity is regarded as Student Misconduct and can lead to the imposition of penalties.

    Resource materials

    You will need access to a reliable internet connection. You will also need a headset.
    There are no extraordinary charges or costs are associated with the requirements for this unit.
    There is no prescribed textbook and most tasks are set around freely available university modules and resources and will be made available through the unit's Blackboard site.

    Risk assessment statement

    There are no unusual health or safety risks associated with this unit. You will be made aware of evacuation procedures and assembly areas in the first few lectures. In the event of a fire alarm sounding, or on a lecturer's instruction, you should leave the room and assemble in the designated area which will be indicated to you. You should be conscious of your health and safety at all times whilst on campus or in the field.

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    Cross-institutional study

    You can apply to study this unit for credit towards a course at another university

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