Stock retention, withdrawal and donation policy


In order to ensure that the collections in the library are current, and as such provide the best possible support for programmes of study, the Library Service will undertake a rolling programme of stock revision. A systematic programme of revision represents good housekeeping practice and is undertaken at intervals by all non-copyright libraries.

In developing this policy we have taken into account the need to:

  • provide and sustain collections that best support the current research and teaching and learning priorities of the University of Chichester
  • achieve a good balance between study space for readers (individually and in groups), space for our collections and space for IT
  • accommodate new teaching, learning or research needs (for example, e-learning) and identify any potential requirement to re-purpose the use of existing space that this may entail.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Library resource access strategy – outline and implementation guidelines.

1. Criteria for withdrawal and retention: books

Criteria for withdrawal and retention of books fall into two categories: intellectual and practical.

The intellectual criteria include:

  • currency: most relevant in some subjects, including media studies, political history etc.
  • content: the subject is no longer taught or researched at degree level at the University of Chichester and is unlikely to be in the foreseeable future
  • academic quality: it is acknowledged that classic primary texts may often need to be retained regardless of actual usage as they show the intellectual development of the subject and map the changing nature of the research area
  • material of scholarly local interest

The practical criteria are:

  • physical condition (and the cost of restoring a book in poor physical condition for continued use)
  • borrowing statistics (we acknowledge that use without borrowing occurs but we would argue that borrowing statistics, on the whole, are indicative of use)
  • space considerations

The Library Service has the discretion to carry out routine stock reviews as part of the day-to-day collection management process without consulting academic departments. However, when larger scale withdrawal projects are proposed consultation must take place. In such cases, library staff will liaise with the academic colleagues to establish agreed principles, taking into account the different teaching and research profiles of each department.

The following are indicative (but not exhaustive) examples of criteria used for withdrawal:

  • out-of-date items, superseded editions and damaged stock
  • material which has not been borrowed for 6 years
  • material which may be seen as being of low academic quality

It is acknowledged that these indicative criteria are not appropriate for all subject collections and so different criteria may need to be applied and there may be variations between departments. Differing needs in terms of breadth, depth and currency in various parts of the Library’s collections will be reflected in consultation with academic departments.

Items that are judged to be of sufficient historical value will be considered for addition to our Special Collections. We will also check whether holdings are unique. If they are, items will either be retained or offered to the British Library or other appropriate collections as part of any future National Research Reserve initiative.

2. Disposal arrangements for books

The Library’s disposal policy for books is that, wherever practical and appropriate, we will endeavour to pass on, either through sale or donation, any quality material no longer required that may nonetheless have a value elsewhere. Any funds gained from commercial sale are reinvested in the Library.

3. Criteria for withdrawal and retention of print journals

The following criteria will be applied when reviewing print journals for disposal:

  • titles identified as part of the Library’s strategy to move to electronic access, unless there is clear evidence of regular usage
  • closed runs
  • journals in subjects no longer taught or researched as mainstream courses at Chichester

Journals being considered for withdrawal may be moved to the library store in the first instance. This will allow for a minimum of one year’s monitoring of use prior to any consultation about permanent relegation. Conversely, any titles relegated to the library store which subsequently show sufficient demand may be returned to the main Library.

4. Disposal arrangements for journals

The following options will be explored depending on the type of material concerned:

  • a) assess whether any items are of sufficient historical value to be added to our Special Collections
  • b) offer sets and runs to other national, University and research libraries
  • c) academic departments and individual academic staff may requests sets of discarded material
  • d) disposal via recycling

5. Disposal arrangement for PhDs, Dissertations and Independent Projects (IPs)

Undergraduate dissertations and IPs will be held by the Library for a maximum of five years. Postgraduate dissertations will be retained for a period agreed with the relevant academic department. PhDs will be kept indefinitely but may be disposed of using the criteria listed above. All items will be disposed of securely if in hardcopy or removed from the electronic catalogue if held on the institutional repository.

6. Criteria for Donations

The University library occasionally accepts donations of monographic, periodical or audio visual material that may enhance our current collections and provide students, staff, readers and researchers with a more comprehensive selection of items for loan or reference.

Donors will be asked to fill in a Library Donation Form (see Appendix 1). If the collections are large, the University Librarian should be advised in the first instance to discuss the content, justification and feasibility of taking on that collection.

The Library reserves the right to dispose of any material not admitted into stock, in an appropriate manner.


Stock retention, withdrawal and donations policy – November 2018

Still need help?