Q. What is deselection and why do we do it?


Materials Evaluation & Deselection Guidelines

Deselection is the withdrawal of materials from the library collection with the goal of maintaining a collection which satisfies the mission of the University of Central Oklahoma and serves the research and current informational needs of the UCO community. This process is an essential part of collection development. A collection evaluation procedure has been developed drawing on American Library Association principles, collection development policies of other academic institutions and other appropriate sources.


1. On an annual basis, the Collection Development Librarian responsible for a given subject area analyzes the collection and removes any books from the shelves which need to be considered for deselection.

2. These volumes are placed in a holding area in the Circulation area for further evaluation by faculty.

3. Faculty members and librarians cooperate to assure that the library retains materials that best serve the educational mission of the university. Collection development librarians appreciate and welcome an active interest in the selection and deselection process.


Some criteria for retention:

1. Material is by an Oklahoma author or about Oklahoma.
2. Title is recognized as a "classic" or "standard" in a given field.
3. Subject matter is unique or the item is the only one in the field.
4. The title has won a prize.
5. The title is valuable because of its photographs or illustrations.
6. The item is part of a set the library owns.
7. No item will be deselected which has been checked out during the past six years.

Some criteria for deselection:

1. The item is a superseded edition.
2. The item is a duplicate copy of a low use title.
3. The item is a badly worn, mutilated or marked up volume which can not be mended or rebound and is no longer in print. If this deselection creates a gap in this subject area, an attempt will be made to replace it with an appropriate title.
4. The item is a title which is no longer suitable for the collection due to changes in the curriculum or in the University's mission.
5. The item is obsolete, e.g. outdated law books or medical books.

The circulation history of a title is considered in combination with the above factors. This applies to titles not covered by #7 above under "Some criteria for retention." These guidelines are reviewed periodically. The library invites faculty input in the ongoing review of the guidelines for this important aspect of library collection development.

There will be some exceptions to the requirements of faculty review, such as the extremely worn condition of a book. For more information, contact the Collection Development Librarian who collects in your area of interest.

  • Last Updated May 30, 2018
  • Views 2
  • Answered By Christine Edwards

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