SPEC Kit 337: Print Retention Decision Making · 21
In the medical library, selection was based on linear footage available in on-site storage space. We used publication
date criteria and discarded volumes for which library had electronic counterpart and stored those that did not have an
e-counterpart. In other libraries, lists were generated based on date of publication and number of checkouts over the
last 10, 20, 20+ years.
Items also available electronically were selected by group with the opportunity to opt out or make exceptions.
Journal runs with electronic equivalents, local dissertations, unprocessed government documents, low use archival
List criteria: circulation history
Low use and duplication are the main criteria for selection. Some items in poor condition (shrink-wrapped) are sent to
the facility to minimize further deterioration. Some special collections are stored at the depository. Frequency of use is a
general criterion, although condition can play a role.
Most reports identified duplicate holdings across system. One project was entirely based on print duplication. Another is
under way, also adding online holdings to the mix.
Our criteria emphasized deciding which materials should remain on open stacks, rather than what should go to off-
site storage. Criteria for remaining on stacks were based on supporting key activity of browsing by topic and for new
additions. Generally, print materials are kept on the open stacks for 10 years after receipt, materials older than this that
have not circulated in the last 5 years are sent to off-site storage. Exceptions are made for certain classes of material,
notably items classed in the PN’s and play-scripts. This exception was made due to the very diffuse pattern of use, which
would have seen a disproportionate amount of this material sent to storage.
Pre-1900 publication date
Print journals, other formats like microfiche (based on publisher and use) archival collections maps, based on usage.
Serials reference materials designated for storage
Some indexes, abstracts digitized series by title
The nature of the list criteria can vary by subject area and/or library. Type of collection may include age of publication,
specific format, circulation, date of last circulation, or preservation quality.
The reference collection is reviewed for publication date, duplication, and availability in other formats on an on-going
This varied from library to library, depending on disciplines served, but it would generally be based on publication dates,
number of copies in the system, and publication dates.
We use various criteria for storage, too numerous to list here.
6. Are any print materials excluded from consideration for your on-site shelving area because of their
condition, completeness, format, or subject area? N=28
Yes 13 46%
No 15 54%
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