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Hannon Library Sustainable Collection Growth, 2018-2023

A three-year project to strategically withdraw library materials in order to make space for collection growth without compromising access to the scholarly record.

Book Deselection Overview

Deselection of library materials is simply the selection process in reverse, and is equally as important as acquisition for responsible stewardship of university resources and library collections. To build a collection, librarians, using their knowledge of institutional needs and professional tools and training, decide which books to purchase. For the Sustainable Collection Growth project, we are applying a methodology that relies on that same skill set, combined with data, to decide which books and journals to withdraw.

The Head of Acquisitions and Collection Development is the project manager for the Sustainable Collection Growth project, and the Dean of the Library has ultimate responsibility for library collections.

Glenn Johnson-Grau / Head of Acquisitions & Collection Development / / x86063

Kristine Brancolini / Dean of the Library / / x84593

Book Deselection Review Procedure

It is important to note that deselection of damaged books, duplicates, or outdated content has always been, and will continue to be, a regular part of library operations. But in order to gain the space needed to fulfill the Sustainable Collection Growth plan (creating space in the library basement for up to two decades of collection growth) by Summer 2023, the library needs to undertake a thorough, large-scale review of low-use materials located in the basement to identify candidates for deselection and withdrawal. 

Review, withdrawal, and communication procedures for this project are as follows:

  • A title list of books that meet initial criteria for withdrawal will be created and a list organized by call number range.
  • The librarian liaison for discipline takes a first pass at identifying materials that will be retained and moved to GFA.
  • All remaining titles from this list are candidates for deselection; physical materials to be pulled from basement and shelved in the Acquisitions & Collection Development department (Library Level 2) for a one-month review period.
    • During the review month for the designated list:
      • Librarians conduct physical review and may recommend additional materials to be retained.
      • Department chair(s) and FLRs in relevant disciplines are notified via email that books are available for physical review (with reminder at 2 weeks). During this period faculty are invited to visit the review area, where they can recommend specific books to retain in the library collections, or request that they be given the book for personal use after withdrawal.
      • Librarians will undertake a final review process, taking faculty recommendations into account.
  • Books not flagged for retention after one month are withdrawn from the collection.

In addition to email notification, the schedule with call number ranges for review will be published on this LibGuide, and faculty or other interested parties from any department are welcome to schedule a time to come review the materials slated for withdrawal at any time within each designated one-month review period. 


Evaluation Criteria

Librarians use some or all of the following well established professional criteria for review in order to determine retention or deselection of library materials. Not all criteria are weighted equally, and may be applied differently depending on academic discipline. 

  • Format (available in other formats)
  • Duplication
  • Textbooks
  • Currency (when relevant, varies by discipline)
  • Physical condition of item
  • Alignment with curriculum or university mission
  • Core title (standard lists, such as Books for College Libraries)
  • Newer version available in collection (superseded volume)
  • Circulation (use statistics, when available)
  • Multiple copies available (with low circulation)
  • Completeness of set
  • Availability of title for interlibrary borrowing through SCELC Shared Print Program or other California/regional library 
  • Geographic/Special interest 
  • Appropriate monograph level (undergraduate, graduate, professional, non-academic)

Withdrawn Books

Books withdrawn from the collection and not requested by faculty will be offered to the LMU community through our library book sales or to used booksellers that specialize in library withdrawals. Proceeds from these sales go to purchase additional materials for the William H. Hannon Library. In some cases, books and other materials are offered to another library or nonprofit organization. For materials for which there is no resale market, items may be recycled.