Deselection, or weeding, is the removal of library materials that are no longer useful, no longer appropriate, or rarely used. It is a standard practice in managing a library’s collection. An overcrowded library collection with outdated and irrelevant materials can make it difficult for users to find the resources they need. Moreover, as the curriculum of Columbia College evolves, so must the collection evolve in order to adequately support it.
Objectives of Deselection: We deselect in order to provide a collection that is credible, useful, timely and accessible, and to align our collection with users’ needs and the college’s current curriculum.
Stafford Library may, at its sole discretion, remove and withdraw print books and any other materials (e.g., non-book print items, electronic resources and analog media) based on the criteria identified below. Library liaisons shall review, evaluate and deselect materials in their collection areas on a regular basis to ensure collection vitality. Aside from this routine deselection, other, more substantial projects may be undertaken periodically. Circulation and other statistics may be examined. Items that are not in demand may be eligible for deselection. Disciplinary faculty will be consulted regarding larger-scale projects or when the library subject specialist deems appropriate. If no feedback is received within the designated review period (generally two weeks), the items will be withdrawn from the collection. Faculty are welcome to claim deselected items within two weeks after they have been withdrawn.
Materials that are withdrawn from the collection will be subject to all college policies addressing property disposal.
The following criteria will be used determine which materials should be withdrawn from the collection. In all cases, the liaisons will weigh these criteria against their own subject and collection area knowledge.
Note: If a gift falls under one of these categories, the gift agreement will supersede the deselection criteria.
Materials We Never Withdraw
Deselection Guidelines of Date-Sensitive Areas
Items in the following areas will be considered for deselection after these timelines.
Please contact Susan Townsend at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and/or comments.
Portions of this policy are adapted from the Jack K. Williams Library at Texas A&M University at Galveston and Cal State East Bay University Libraries.
Published January 2023.