Collection Development Statement
Deaccessioning and Annex Transfer Policy for Circulating and Reference Collections


Deaccessioning or Transfer to Annex of materials in the Stacks or reference collections of the Libraries are done to remove from the shelves items that no longer are useful, in poor condition or occupying limited space needed for services or for other useful materials. Criteria for Deaccessioning or Transfer are implemented with input from the appropriate subject librarians. Deaccessioned materials may be discarded or sold. If they are brittle or damaged but potentially useful, they may be identified by the subject librarians as candidates for digital preservation. Items identified for removal to the Annex facility must fit within the criteria of the Annex Policy.



Materials may be deaccessioned or sent to the Annex because they are superseded, plagiarized, retracted by the author(s) or judged dangerous to safety of persons or equipment by specialists in a particular field of study. (For example, obsolete medical texts can be dangerous if used by the unwary to treat themselves, and obsolete computer manuals can cause problems in programming.) Subject librarians also may judge certain items to no longer have value for the collections. Materials regarded as of doubtful Utility may still be judged by the appropriate subject librarian worth retaining in the Annex for historical purposes or for digitization.

Another category of materials that can be considered for Deaccessioning or Transfer to the Annex on grounds of Utility is a collection in a subject area no longer taught by the university.


Materials may be removed from the shelves because they are too badly damaged or decayed to endure use on the open shelves and are judged by the appropriate subject specialist not to be worth the efforts to repair them for remaining on the shelves or simply are beyond repair. These may be withdrawn, sent to the Annex or digitized as is judged appropriate for the value of their information.


The Libraries remove materials where sufficient space is lacking. Among the criteria for Deaccessioning or Transfer from the Stacks collections to make space are duplicate copies of an edition or volume judged to be unnecessary, volumes fitting the criterion of Utility and volumes fitting the criterion of Condition, as stated above. Candidates for Deaccessioning or Transfer from the shelves might also include cancelled indexes, directories or periodicals, or back files of such titles that are not frequently used. Another category that can be considered contains titles identified as low use through compilation of circulation or reshelving data for the Stacks collections.

Proper Deaccessioning:

Deaccessioning must include update of cataloging records and marking copies "withdrawn" if they have marks of ownership by the University. Withdrawn copies can be sold, donated or discarded as appropriate.


Items selected for preservation digitization must conform to the Libraries' copyright policies. They must fit into RUL workflows and financial resources, and access must be provided to them via the Libraries' website and catalog.

NOTE: Implementation of Deaccessioning or Transfer projects is guided by the Last Copy Policy.

NOTE: This policy will be adapted to the unique needs of Special Collections.

(December 2010)

Last updated: January 5, 2011
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