SPEC Kit 337: Print Retention Decision Making · 125
Selection Guidelines for Off-site Shelving
Selection Guidelines for Off-site Shelving Fondren Library -Rice University
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Selection Guidelines for Off-site Shelving
Guidelines for Selection of Materials for Off-site Shelving
Background &Rationale
Selection of Material
General Criteria
Practical Considerations
Specific Procedures
Items Suitable for Consideration
Items Not Suitable for Consideration
Appendix: Recommendations for handling Rare Books, Special Collections and University Archives Materials
I. Background and Rationale
The Fondren Library has experienced an acute shortage of space in which to house its collections. Although some space-saving
measures have been used, the library is now at a point where the existing facility cannot accommodate currently held materials and
anticipated acquisitions. Therefore an off-site shelving facility, the Library Service Center, was proposed as a way to economically
house important but low-use materials. In addition to relieving the crowded conditions at Fondren, the Library Service Center offers
better security and preservation measures for fragile or rare items than can be achieved within the Fondren Library building. Far
from being a "first step toward withdrawal/destruction," therefore, the decision to house a volume in the Library Service
Center is a commitment to long term retention and preservation.
In order to select the material most appropriate for inclusion in the facility, the library is setting forth the following procedures. The
procedures given below are based on standard library practices (e. g, Guide to Review of Library Collections: Preservation, Service,
and Withdrawal, Chicago: American Library Association, 1991) and modified to meet our unique needs. To insure that our facility will
be state-of-the-art in terms of service and shelving, we have been in contact with the managers of library off-site shelving facilities at
Harvard, Brown, the University of Texas at Austin, Yale, and other universities who have successfully implemented such programs.
II. Selection of Material for Off-site Shelving
All disciplines, subjects, and formats of materials in the Fondren Library are subject to review for selection and transfer to the Library
Service Center. The subject bibliographer responsible for collection development in a particular discipline is responsible for the
selection of materials to be transferred to the off-site shelving facility. Each discipline may have its own requirements for the kinds of
material that must be retained on-site. Subject specialists will work with their respective faculty to ensure the least disruption to their
important research materials. A guiding principle is that all Library Service Center selection decisions are reversible, and
materials selected for off-site shelving may be returned to the collection at Fondren Library whenever the need arises.
A. General Criteria
The overriding principles in selecting material for off-site shelving are use and value to the current curriculum and research needs of
Rice University affiliates. These general criteria are applicable for all disciplines, though the specific guidelines may vary from
discipline to discipline.
1. User demand for the material, generally indicated by circulation statistics.
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