Deselection and Removal of Materials
Deselection is the removal of materials from the library collection that are no longer needed or viable and is a standard practice in managing a library’s collection. Periodic deselection is important in keeping a collection vibrant, relevant, and useable. The library may withdraw, in accordance with its Withdrawal Policy, materials in any format - monographs, periodicals, series, manuscripts, films, etc. Items which are withdrawn from the collection will be disposed of in consultation with FIU’s Property Control Department.
The process of withdrawing materials from the collection is managed by subject liaison librarians who have responsibility for managing the collections in their assigned disciplines and for working directly with academic departments to support their research and teaching needs. The decision to withdraw an item is based on content and programmatic needs. These needs may vary greatly from discipline to discipline.
Subject Weeding by Liaisons
Subject liaisons will review their collection areas on a regular basis and may deselect materials based on the following criteria:
- Frequency of Use – Circulation and browse statistics should be used to determine whether items are being used on a frequent basis. A Low-Use Item Report can be generated upon request within specific call number ranges to determine items which have little overall usage and/or no recent use.
- Curriculum/Research Needs – Items not meeting current research or curriculum needs may be removed from the collection unless there are other factors which may require its retention. For example, if a title is a seminal work within its field of study it may be retained for basic research value.
- Currency of Information – The need for the most current information will vary by discipline. Where relevant, outdated titles should be removed to reduce antiquated information.
- Duplication – If the FIU Libraries own multiple copies of a title, research needs and usage statistics should be reviewed to determine whether all copies need to be retained. If multiple copies are not deemed necessary, the library with the highest programmatic need for the subject matter should retain the title.
- Superseded Works – Unless a superseded volume has historic value, previous editions of a work should be withdrawn upon receipt of a newer edition.
- Sets and Series – if an item is part of a set or series to which the library does not hold a complete run, the item may be weeded unless the information in the volume may be considered a complete treatise on a subject.
- Physical Condition – Materials that are torn, deteriorated, or otherwise damaged should be
removed from the collection. At the liaison’s discretion, a replacement copy or newer edition
may be purchased as a replacement.
- Other formats – Titles which are available at the FIU Libraries in multiple formats (microform,
electronic, print, etc) may be weeded to reduce duplication. Outdated formats which are
deemed no longer usable should be removed from the collection.
- Lost or Missing Items – If an item is reported in the FIU Catalog system as Lost or Missing, it may
be withdrawn from the collection. A replacement item may be requested at the discretion of
the subject liaison.
Special Interest Items
Items with regional, local, or special interest are exceptions to the withdrawal process. Items in these
categories are rarely, if ever, weeded due to their intrinsic value to the FIU collections. The following
areas are examples of such local interests:
- Special Collections – by their nature, items housed in the Special Collection Department have
national or local collection value. Any decision to withdraw an item in this collection will be
made by the Head of Special Collections in consultation with the Library Administration and
- Faculty Publications – FIU faculty publications are retained by the library unless the physical
conditions of such publications render them unusable. If such is the case, a replacement copy
will be sought.
- Grant Funded or Deed of Gift – items purchased through grant funding or acquired through
special gift agreements may carry special retention requirements. Such materials are typically
retained unless extenuating circumstances require withdrawal.
- Latin American & Caribbean Studies – the FIU Libraries have agreements with several national
organizations to be a repository for various regions of Latin American and Caribbean materials.
- Florida publications – titles published about the local Florida area have continuing archival
- Classics and Core Materials – Literary classics, seminal works, and core materials in FIU-taught
disciplines should be retained for their lasting value.
- Primary Sources – primary sources are often difficult to obtain and replace. Such documents
should be kept in the collection or reviewed to determine if off-site storage is desired.
In addition to these areas, it should be noted that portions of the holdings of the Government Documents Department are regulated by state, regional, national, and/or international agreements for depository libraries. Any withdrawals from that collection must be done in accordance with such agreements.