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Collection Management Principles and Strategies

Collection Review and Management

Like academic libraries across the country, the most limited resource in Gould Library is space.  We must continually review and deselect items from the collection to make space for new material and to maintain a healthy browsable collection.

The Library's physical collections are reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that the collection continues to meet the curriculum and information needs of the Carleton community.  Materials that no longer meet these needs may be removed from the collection.

Evidence based review methods including usage, publication date, circulation, and national holdings available via interlibrary loan are balanced with qualitative measures such as preservation and access to diverse resources.  Not all criteria are applied to each deselection decision.

Subscriptions to electronic resources and journals represent an ongoing financial commitment that increases annually with inflation.  The Library regularly evaluates each resource based on scholarly value and usefulness to support teaching and learning relative to its cost.  Many factors inform the review, including but not limited to cost, usage, content overlap, relevance to the curriculum and the need for accreditation.

Libraries have found that deselected books often return to the library as donations even though they have been stamped withdrawn. To circumvent this, deselected materials are donated to Better World Books an organization that supports nonprofit literacy programs. Items that do not fall under Better World Books acceptance guidelines for materials are recycled locally.  Such items include items in poor condition, periodicals, and newspapers.





Replacement of Physical Item

We will consider purchasing a similar or exact copy or preservation replacement when physical materials are declared lost or missing, or in poor/unusable condition.  These purchase decisions are at the discretion of the Collection Development and Strategies Librarian or the Library Conservator in accordance with the guidelines for Selection of Materials and Formats.