Library Duplicate Copies Policy

Policy No.: 3



Approval Date:  September 2012 

Last Revision:  Draft, June 20, 2012

Responsible Executive:  Associate University Librarian, Collections

Title:  Duplicate Copies

Background & Purposes:

UBC Library purchases materials that support the teaching and research interests of the University of British Columbia.  To provide the broadest possible range of materials to support this focus, while also taking into account user needs and limitations of budget, space and staff resources, UBC Library does not generally purchase, or accept as gifts, duplicate copies of items. 


This Policy applies to a duplicate, multiple or added copy, which is defined as an exact replica of an item.  Duplicate materials may be available in more than one format (e.g. print, microform, electronic, audio or video).  A version that contains new, deleted, or revised information is a different edition and, therefore, not considered a duplicate copy.

Governing Principles:

Duplication is generally avoided; however, there may be situations in which subject bibliographers decide to duplicate items in different formats.  Where the decision is made to duplicate a print title, electronic versions will generally be the preferred format, taking into consideration factors such as cost, amount of use, ease of use, storage space, preservation, quality of illustrative content, availability to remote or simultaneous users, and frequency of updating.


Exceptions to this Policy of not acquiring duplicate copies will be considered on an individual basis by the appropriate subject librarian, including in the following circumstances. 

  • Material that has demonstrated or anticipated high use (e.g. multiple holds, including materials on course reserve or in reference)
  • Items for which an archival copy must be retained and does not circulate
  • Items that are unique to Vancouver, British Columbia or Canada
  • Items required by students in more than one library location
  • Interdisciplinary items, where multiple locations share responsibility for collection development in the subject.  Liaison librarians in these areas will consult with one another, to avoid duplication of low-use items.
  • Performance material, such as music scores, when required for performance purposes
  • Items for which the existing format is no longer useable, such as VHS items being replaced by DVD or streaming video
  • Items necessary for operational use which require regular and on-going consultation by library staff