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Mary Linden Sepulveda

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Mary Sepulveda

Coordinator of Collection Development, Special Collections & Archives



Generally the library attempts to honor commitments to ongoing publications, including  print and electronic journals, newspapers and databases, but sometimes cancellations are necessary. 

Publications and products requiring an ongoing commitment should be evaluated not only when first considered for purchase, but also in subsequent years to make sure they are still appropriate for the collection and worth the cost of continuing. The following circumstances may prompt cancellation:

  • The resource no longer offers valuable, reliable, or current information.
  • Another resource offers superior coverage.
  • Use statistics reveal unacceptably low use or high cost per use.
  • Price increases are unsustainable.
  • Budget shortfalls force the library to cut back on subscriptions. 



Maintaining diverse collections of scholarly materials in support of the curriculum is a key goal of collection development and maintenance.  Planned, strategic deselection of materials helps to ensure that collections are relevant and up to date. Materials may be withdrawn and discarded from the collection while some areas may be targeted to refresh with updated materials.This is best accomplished not only through  selection and purchase of print materials but more strategically through purchase of eBooks that provide broader online accessibility. Ebook format is given priority for new acquisitions. 

The intent of this document is to provide guidelines to locate possible candidates for deselection in library collections. The criteria listed below are not meant to be exhaustive but to allow for individual judgment when necessary. The section "Specific Policies"  includes subject guidelines focused on individual schools and departments.

Materials/Books- Deteriorating 

  • Worn out items: dirty, shabby, warped, bug infested, or otherwise marked up, mutilated, or ‘edited’ by patrons.
  • Poorly bound or poorly printed editions.
  • Yellow, brittle pages.
  • Missing pages and illustrations.

*Some of these items could also be identified for repair, bindery, replacement or need for a newer Ebook edition.

Review Content:

  • Outdated and obsolete information (especially on subjects that change quickly or require absolute currency, such as computers, law, science, space, health and medicine, technology).
  • Trivial Subject matter, including topics that are no longer of interest or that were dealt with superficially due to their popularity at a specific point in time, as well as titles related to outdated popular culture.
  • Mediocre writing style, especially material that was written quickly to meet popular interest that has passed.
  • Inaccurate or false information, including outdated information and sources that have been superseded by new titles or editions.
  • Superseded editions (in general, it is unnecessary to keep more than one previous edition, discarding as new editions are added).
  • Unneeded duplicates, especially if they are worn or tattered.
  • Inappropriate, items in subject areas that are irrelevant to the curriculum and collection guidelines.

Internal considerations that must be further reviewed:

  • Seattle University Authors (faculty and staff)
  • Orbis Cascade Alliance Distributed Print Repository (DPR)  - Journals designated as Seattle University's responsibility to preserve for possible inclusion in the consortium Distributed Print Repository. 
  • Items with gift plates will be reviewed on a case by case basis. 

Multiple Copies

Multiple Copies

Typically titles are not  duplicated in print and eBook formats. Exceptions include the Provost program that celebrates faculty scholarship with a physical display  located outside the library buiilding.

In other exceptions the library may retain a print copy of a unique item in the circulating collection and also preserve a copy in special collections.



Evaluating the continued need for material worn or damaged beyond repair or lost by users is a fundamental part of collection management. Standard works, classics, and studies on topics of current interest are usually the most heavily used material in the library, and as such, the material most susceptible to damage or loss. The Coordinator, Collection Development in consultation with Library Faculty in their assigned liaison areas make every effort to replace material that is still of value to current or future users - whether in print or ebook format -  but they may also determine that a lost or damaged item does not need to be replaced if other copies or editions are available in the collection,  or if the title was of marginal significance to the collection.