Updating the University Libraries’ Collections


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As we embark on a multi-year project to update the collection, the GRU Libraries want to share information about the process of deselecting materials in academic libraries with the GRU community.

The Evolving Library

With the shift from print to online, or digital, access to journals and books, the Libraries have experienced a decline in circulation and the number of library users physically coming to the buildings. Users can access many library resources remotely, and the importance of space in the library is shifting from the physical content on the shelves to how students use space to learn and to engage with one another.

One of the strategic priorities of the libraries, therefore, is to renovate the buildings in order to positively impact student success and to enhance faculty teaching and research. The libraries should be more of an active learning place where students and faculty can collaborate on research projects, where students can either work in groups or study independently, and where library faculty and staff can best serve the needs of our users. In addition, since technology has become such an integral part of the learning process, library users will need more electrical outlets to plug in laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices. The changing nature of our library users and collections will, therefore, inform us as our collections are evaluated.

Why Do We Deselect Library Materials?

One of the many steps that librarians at GRU take to ensure that the University Libraries’ collections remain up-to-date includes the deselection of library materials. As an integral process, deselection ensures a relevant collection that supports the needs of the curriculum; makes active items more visible and accessible; makes the most efficient use of existing, limited library space; and creates shelf space for new additions to the collection.

A systematic deselection project is conducted regularly as best practice. Materials that are badly worn, seldom used or duplicate copies, and resources outside the scope of the current (or anticipated) curriculum and the mission of the University, may be considered for deselection. Each library also employs usage statistics, collections statistics, and replacement information to make informed decisions regarding materials.

As a part of the collection development process, faculty are strongly encouraged to review the proposed deselected titles and provide recommendations for new materials in order to ensure a well-rounded collection that supports the teaching and research efforts of the University. Library liaisons will be contacting their departments and sending them lists of books under consideration for deselection for review.

The University Libraries regularly assess user needs and evaluate our collections. This current project is but one part of an on-going effort to address the ever-changing role of academic libraries.

Resources on Weeding in Academic Libraries

For questions, please contact Sandra Bandy, Chair of Content Management at Greenblatt Library: sbandy@gru.edu or 706-721-0299 or Melissa Johnson, Electronic Resources and Serials Librarian at Reese Library: mjohns69@gru.edu or 706-667-4907.