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Criteria for De-Selection Include:

  • Relevance - Titles no longer relevant to curricular or research needs may be removed from the collections, or (in the case of subscriptions) cancelled.
  • Obsolescence - Titles that contain obsolete information may be de-selected if the information they contain is inaccurate or incomplete (with due regard to discipline).
  • Redundancy/Duplication - Titles containing information found elsewhere in the collection may be de-selected to minimize redundancy.
  • Infrequent Use
  • Poor physical condition
  • All tentative titles for withdrawal under these categories will then be posted to the @ faculty listserv to enable all members of the faculty in other disciplines to offer feedback.

Areas of Caution

The following are additional considerations for evaluating withdrawal of materials. Special care will be taken with:

  • Classic works
  • Collectable items such as autographed copies
  • Major publications of the school or community
  • Memorial gifts
  • Faculty publications
  • Materials of special value to a particular group or individual in the school
  • History of personalities related to DePauw University
  • Works of historical significance in a specific field
  • Materials with a multi-disciplinary scope
  • Rare books and other valuable materials of limited use
  • Works with low ownership by other libraries
  • Graphical materials: images, illustrations, graphs that are not replicated in other ways
  • Materials that come with supplementary items i.e. audio, maps, compact discs, etc.

Departmental Review

Upon completion of a departmental collection assessment process by Collection Development, members of the teaching faculty may, during their academic review, systematically analyze and evaluate the library’s specific subject holdings and identify candidates for acquisition and de-selection.

  • Titles recommended by the faculty are identified and tagged on the shelf by the collection development librarian after due consultation with the library faculty and other parties concerned.
  • Items tagged recommended for withdrawal will be collaboratively reviewed by the Collection Development Librarian/or coordinator in charge, in consultation with the faculty.
  • These items will be made available for review by interested members of the teaching faculty and librarians.
  • Withdrawn items will be sent to the Technical Services Assistant who will process the necessary bibliographic and inventory records.

Other Concerns

  • Appropriate consultation with faculty will be ensured through electronic notification and physical review before titles are de-selected.
  • U.S. government documents remain the property of the federal government, not the University, there may be instances in which documents otherwise subject to our collection guidelines must be withdrawn or retained in accordance with federal law.
  • De-selection decisions will be carefully considered and systematically applied and will not discourage gifts of useful materials or endanger the good will of library donors or diminish public confidence in the library.

Disposal of De-Selected Materials

The Director of Libraries is ultimately responsible for the disposal of all de-selected materials. De-selected items will be disposed of as follows:

  • Other libraries will be consulted to determine if there is interest in the de-selected materials.
  • If not, de-selected materials will be offered for sale according to University policy.
  • Remaining materials will be offered to the faculty.
  • Materials not claimed by the faculty, after a specified period of time will be discarded as appropriate.

Conservation and Preservation

The DePauw University Libraries will strive to maintain the physical integrity of the collection through current conservation and preservation methods. Items identified as damaged will be noted and conveyed to the Access Services Librarian.

Criteria for conservation and preservation:

  • Brittleness, discoloration, food stains
  • Binding damage - books with dried-out adhesive bindings
  • Mutilation - books with torn, missing pages, etc.
  • Poor Condition - worn-out, shabby volumes
    • materials in need of de-acidification
    • loose pages attached with transparent tape
    • books with bent or splayed pages or covers

Conservation and preservation will include proactive measures taken to ensure the long life of the collection - minor/ major repairs; replacement or archiving of materials damaged beyond repair.

Materials damaged beyond repair will be referred to the Collection Development Librarian for appropriate action according to Policy guidelines.

Procedures for evaluating damaged or worn-out materials

An item will be referred to the Cataloging and Processing Librarian for review, if the following conditions exist:

  • Multiple copies of once popular materials found in poor physical condition
  • Old books in poor physical condition that have never circulated
  • Multiple copies of once popular materials, except works of historical, philosophical or literary merit
  • For a damaged or worn-out book that has circulated recently, the Preservation Assistant will refer it to Acquisitions for a replacement, if possible.
  • A worn-out book with literary, historical, or philosophical merit, will simply be repaired, and, if necessary, sent for binding or for further preservation.
  • A damaged copy of a frequently used book (with multiple copies) should be referred to the Collection Development Librarian who will decide whether to repair, replace or withdraw it.


Materials which are considered lost will be replaced in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Importance of item to collection
  • Demand for the material
  • Availability
  • Cost of the material