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Collection Development - General Deselection Criteria

4. General Deselection Criteria

Deselection, the systematic removal of materials from the collection, is an important component of total collection development. Ongoing reevaluation of materials is necessary in order to maintain a current, accurate and inviting collection. Deselection improves the accessibility of the remaining materials, enhances the appearance of the collection, and helps improve the overall circulation and turnover rates of materials.

Discarded materials become surplus property and may be sold by the Friends of the Library for fund raising purposes or discarded at the Librarys discretion.

The process and decision to deselect an item takes into account the same criteria used when the item was first selected for inclusion in the collection. Additionally, the following criteria should apply when evaluating the collection:

Criteria For Materials Deselection:


  • Frequency of circulation and/or potential use
  • In-house use
  • Interlibrary loan circulations
  • Outdated or inaccurate information


  • Subject matter no longer of current interest or historical or literary significance
  • Historical importance: community or regional interest
  • Availability of other materials in the field
  • Physical appearance/condition relative to other factors of importance
  • Multiple copies of title no longer in demand


  • Worn, damaged
  • Aged

Special Collections Deselection:

Deselection of items from Special Collections, while occurring within the general guidelines outlined above, also adheres to more stringent, specific criteria and procedures.


  • Relevance to Collection Development Policy. Except for considerations involving redundancy and physical condition as described below, titles will be considered for deselection only if they are no longer relevant to current or anticipated needs and are not within the scope of the Collection Development Policy for Special Collections.
  • Redundancy. Copies or editions of titles in Special Collections that duplicate existing holdings may be considered for deselection.
  • Physical Condition. Materials may be deselected from Special Collections because of their physical condition. Great care will be exercised in assessing the physical condition of a title before any such deselection decision is made. Appropriate efforts will be made to preserve valuable titles.