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Deaccessioning Policy

Deaccessioning of library materials is essential for maintaining a relevant and useful academic library collection. Library liaisons are responsible for conducting deaccessioning in their subject areas of responsibility.

General Guidelines

Deaccessioning is conducted on an ongoing basis in accordance with the collection development policy and within the criteria outlined below. Library liaisions spend time each semester reviewing the shelves to evaluate the book collection. Microfilm, periodicals, A/V, and electronic resources are also reviewed periodically by librarians.

Titles are evaluated according to three factors: content, past and projected use, and physical condition. Items that have had low use and items in poor condition are identified for evaluation. Classic works are always retained and may need to be restored or replaced if in poor condition. Currency of information is an important factor when evaluating items in subject areas such as technology, business, science, and medicine.

Each title is researched individually by the library liaison. Authoritative core lists are consulted to identify works that should be retained. Faculty members may be consulted when necessary. The decision to remove a title is made only after careful consideration of all factors.

Criteria for Deaccessioning

  • Item is out-of-date and/or contains inaccurate information
  • Item is superseded with a newer edition
  • Item has not been used in ten years, is not a classic work, does not have long-term value, and/or falls outside of institutional research areas
  • Item is a duplicate and is no longer in high demand (exceptions include a rare copy which doesn't circulate and in some cases, an electronic copy)
  • Item is in poor condition and the cost to repair it goes beyond the usefulness of the item (preservation librarian will estimate repair cost)
  • Item is part of an incomplete set
  • Item is not important to coursework, research, cross-disciplinary study, nor is of general interest. Item is not likely to be used in the future.
  • Item can be replaced cost-effectively by a digital resource with significant advantages such as wider availability
  • Usage statistics indicate little or no recent use, especially in comparison with usage anticipated for an alternative resource under consideration

What to Retain

  • Items that we have committed to retain for the SCELC Shared Print Program
  • Items that have circulated in the last 10 years
  • Items listed other authoritative lists
  • Items held by three or fewer libraries according to WorldCat
  • Items written by key authors in a field
  • Items that are duplicates in high demand areas
  • Items that are important to coursework, research, cross-disciplinary study or are of general interest
  • Items that are likely to be used in the future
  • Items that are part of a valued donation (examine bookplate)