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LIB-013 De-Selection Policy

Policy on De-Selection

Category: Library

Number: LIB-013

Responsibility: University Librarian

Approver: Library Management Team

Approval: May 1, 2013



The Arthur A. Wishart Library (“Library”) collections strive to meet the teaching and research needs of Algoma University Faculty and Students. The principle that a solid collection is one that best reflects the current state of knowledge within each discipline, including a wide range of ideas and competing viewpoints guides the Collections Development Policy (LIB-006) and the Library’s actions. In addition, the Library unequivocally supports the principle of intellectual freedom and it will resist any attempts to censor ideas that are controversial or unpopular. (1)


Collection development at any academic institution is not solely concerned with items that the Library adds to collections.  Collections should be reviewed and undergo de-selection on a regular basis to remove items that are outdated, contain inaccurate or superseded materials, damaged, no longer circulating, or where multiple copies of the same item exist with low circulation statistics for each copy.  De-selection, therefore, is the corollary of informed selection and complementary to selection criteria.

Policy: De-selection Framework

Each academic discipline is different and the criteria listed below will only be used to flag items for consideration for weeding.  Once flagged the appropriate Subject Specialist and / or Collections Librarian will make the final decision of whether to retain or weed the item from the collection.  The Library staff will consult the PEQAB Reviews and Library Collection Profiles for each discipline as their guide to ensure that materials retained for the Library collection fit the teaching and research needs of the Faculty and Students in each discipline.

Policy: Criteria

As a guide, the following criteria will be used to flag items:

1. Currency of Information:

1.1 Inaccurate, outdated or superseded items should be flagged.

1.2 Exceptions may be made for items that have a historical significance.

2. Teaching & Research:

2.1 Items supporting the teaching and research interests of Algoma University Faculty and Students will be retained with a preference for retaining electronic copies rather than physical print items.

2.2 Items that do not support current teaching and research may be considered for donation to schools with programs in the field or for donation to an approved book recycler or reseller.

2.3 Examples include:items suited to Public Library use or Secondary School curriculum; items that do not fit within a multidisciplinary approach when taking into consideration Algoma's teaching and research interests.

3. Date of last circulation:

3.1 Items that have not circulated in last 10 years should be flagged

3.2 Exceptions may be made for items works of literature, history, philosophy; as well as foundational works for each discipline.

4. Physical Condition   

4.1 Items should be flagged if there is:

4.1.1 Mold / mildew present

4.1.2 Signs of insects/ infestation

4.1.3 Broken spine

4.1.4 Missing or brittle pages

4.1.5 Excessive dust / dirt

5. Multiple Copies

5.1 If there are multiple copies that are not circulating, they should be flagged.

6. Censorship Issues

6.1 Subject Specialist and Librarians are mindful of censorship issues and will take these issues into account when making decisions to weed items that may be deemed controversial.

6.2 Items listed on the CLA and ALA's banned or challenged book lists should be retained.

6.3 In instances where the Subject Specialist or Collections Librarian is unsure of the impact of weeding the item from the collection, they should consult with the University Librarian.


American Library Association. (1996, January 23). Library Bill of Rights. Retrieved from ALA: American Library Association:



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