Like most research libraries, University Libraries does not have a comprehensive plan for the systematic deselection of titles from its collections. There are two primary reasons why The University of Alabama is reluctant to establish deselection programs. First, future changes in user populations or in institutional programs may affect needs and/or use. Second, titles currently considered of marginal importance might be of some significance to the next generation of scholars.

When a title is singled out by a librarian, faculty or staff member, student, or other patron, as a candidate for deselection, the following guidelines and procedures will be followed in determining whether the title will be removed from the collection. A title actually withdrawn should meet many of the guidelines cited here.

  1. The title is no longer relevant (or of no interest) to the programs, curriculum, and patrons of The University of Alabama or its Libraries.
  2. The title lacks any intrinsic merit.
  3. The physical condition of the title makes it unusable. Further, financial and physical resources are not available to provide continuous housing and maintenance of the item.
  4. The title can be obtained elsewhere at similar or lower cost than the cost of maintaining it in the collection.
  5. An obsolete title which exists in multiple copies in the collections.
  6. Superseded edition (or editions) of the title.
  7. Lack of use (circulation, in-house) of the title (never the sole criterion for deselecting; other elements noted here must be considered as well).
  1. A title identified as a candidate for deselection will be referred to the appropriate collection manager(s) for examination and evaluation. The collection manager(s) may concur or disagree with the initial assessment.
  2. If the collection manager concurs that the title be withdrawn, the selector should decide if the departmental library liaison, or another appropriate faculty member, should be queried as to any objection his/her department may have to the withdrawal of the title. If the selector does consult the liaison/faculty member and no objections are raised within a specified time frame (seven working days), the title will be withdrawn from the Libraries. If valid objections are raised, the title will be retained.
  3. If the collection manager does not agree that the title should be withdrawn, or wishes to solicit another evaluation, the title may be forwarded to the Associate Dean for Collections. The Associate Dean for Collections may (1) agree with the decision of the collection manager and the title will be retained, or (2) the Associate Dean for Collections may elect to consult with other relevant collection managers, or other appropriate faculty members, for their opinions. The Associate Dean for Collections will then decide whether the title shall be retained or withdrawn.

    NOTE: It is important that the collection manager(s) be aware of any potential cross or interdisciplinary use of the title considered for withdrawal. Further, the collection manager(s) should realize that United States government documents received from the USGPO depository system through the documents unit may not be withdrawn without permission from the Government Documents Librarian. United States government documents judged no longer useful in a collection must be returned to the documents unit.

  4. Titles deselected from University Libraries will be handled according to the University Libraries Withdrawal Policy.

Recommended by Libraries Management Council, September 19, 1995
Approved by Libraries Administrative Group, September 26, 1995
Updated August 23, 2002

Updated December 22,2008