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Curry Library Policies

Policies relating to Curry Library services and resources.

Deselection Policy

William Jewell College is not a major research institution nor is its library a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). As other regional libraries provide for in-depth historical research, Jewell’s library collection needs to be continually evaluated in order to identify materials that have outlived their usefulness or for which no clear curricular purpose is evident so these materials can be withdrawn from the collection. The goal is to maintain an up-to-date, well-balanced, useful, and reliable collection to support the information needs of the Jewell community. Deselection, or weeding, is done as a conscientious effort to achieve a balanced and up-to-date collection suitable for Jewell and should be an ongoing process. Deselection within a collection is as important as acquiring materials and should be done according to the same principles and policies that determine selection. Significant amounts of material that no longer meet the needs of the Jewell community impede the efficient selection of appropriate material. Items in poor physical condition discourage use and detract from the general appearance of the collection. Outdated and inaccurate material obstructs use of the collection and threatens the value of their research. Unnecessary items left in a collection can weaken a library as much as, if not more than, insufficient acquisitions.

Several factors should be considered when deciding whether or not to withdraw materials from the collection, such as:

  • value to the collection;
  • physical condition;
  • coverage of the subject by other printed or electronic materials in the collection;
  • age or obsolescence;
  • historical value and use; and
  • copies held by consortia partners.

Responsibility for weeding falls to the librarians who use their judgment, subject expertise, and understanding of the current and future needs of the Jewell community to evaluate the collection. Weeding should be carried out on a routine schedule. The Library will also make a conscientious effort to involve the college community in deselection activities.

General Criteria for Deselection

The following criteria may be used in selecting materials for withdrawal in a deselection process. 

  1. Outdated and shabby materials.
    It is a disservice to the College to keep shelves crammed with outdated, shabby materials. However, the content may qualify some material for replacement or repair. Also, caution should be taken to avoid discarding rare books or works of importance to a field of study.
  2. Material not actively used.
    It is important to have a collection of materials that are needed and used by the Jewell community. Warehousing unused books is not within the mission of the library.
  3. Multiple copies.
    Unnecessary multiple copies may be discarded. The librarians will follow guidelines and best practices set forth by the library’s consortium partners and regulating body, as well as in consideration with the mission and disciplines of the college curriculum.
  4. Age.
    Older, superseded editions if a newer or improved edition or text with the same or similar content has been acquired, depending on the discipline.
  5. Poor content.
    Materials that contain obsolete or incorrect information and are not of historical value may be deselected. Materials on computers, law, science, technology, health, and travel need to be current to be useful.
  6. Material that is damaged and cannot be repaired.
    Attention must be given to broken spine, fragile, brittle or dirty paper, torn or missing pages, and insect or mildew infestations.

Specific Criteria for Retention

  1. Material that meets accreditation standards.
  2. Items identified by faculty as those that should be retained.
  3. Items that meet specific circulation and usage thresholds.
  4. Items considered valuable for the integrity of the collection.
  5. Local or College history.
  6. Faculty or alumni authors.