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Kenyon College


Collection Development Policy: Retention Parameters

Materials under Review

Withdrawal Procedures:

Librarians will create a list of titles being considered for retention and post on the library collection development website, generally during the first week of the month. 

Each list will have a review period of approximately 4 weeks. 

The physical materials under review will be on the third floor of the library, after the Z call numbers; look for a "Materials under review" sign. 

Recommendations to retain an item should be communicated either by email or by leaving a paper note with the item and should include a rationale of how the item meets collection development criteria. 

At the end of the review period, books on the list which Kenyon has not chosen to retain will be processed for withdrawal.

More Information

Karen Greever
Reference Desk:
Mon: 3pm - 5pm
Wed: 6pm - 9pm
Also available by appointment
Website / Blog Page

Retention Parameters

Retention Parameters

Deselection, or withdrawal, is just one part of collection development and is best understood within the context of the library’s overall collection development policy (  Our goal is to create a dynamic, relevant and effective collection that supports the college curriculum.  Retaining materials that no longer meet current or projected future user needs is a sign of poor collection stewardship.


Just as deselection should not be viewed in isolation, neither should the Kenyon collection.  Kenyon's collection is a small subset of the broader OhioLINK collection, and the physical collection is but one part of the overall collection. 


While collection review is not an exact science, below are the guidelines we follow in order to best serve the needs of Kenyon students and faculty.


General considerations:


1.    Retain and highlight materials that support Kenyon’s curriculum.

2.    Make the best possible use of available space.

a.    Shelf space is finite  

b.    We are already nearing capacity and continue acquiring new materials

c.    Overcrowded shelves can lead to materials being damaged

d.    Overcrowded shelves are more difficult to browse; removing outdated or irrelevant materials facilitates discovery of useful research sources

e.    Optimum shelf capacity is a maximum of 75% full

3.    Make the best possible use of available dollars.  Processing and maintaining little used and less relevant materials costs money.

Criteria for deselection:

1.    Obsolete / superseded materials

a.    Newer edition has been received

b.    Obsolete information, especially in science, medicine, etc.

c.     It is understood that almost any item could be of scholarly interest, but Kenyon may no longer be the appropriate home for some materials

2.    Duplicate materials

a.    Kenyon has more than one copy of a title; as a general rule Kenyon does not have the space to retain multiple copies of the same work

3.    Physical condition of materials is insufficient for normal shelving and use

a.    Irreparable spine damage / spine and cover condition

b.    Brittle, yellowing, acidic paper, which makes rebinding impossible

c.    Water / mold damage

d.    Excessive marking of pages, particularly ink and highlighting

e.    Inaccessibility due to format or machine obsolescence

f.    Expense of repair/rebinding vs. replacement cost

g.    Does the item merit replacement?

                       i. Is the material still useful and relevant to our collection and curriculum?

                       ii. Are there sufficient copies in OhioLINK?

4.    Relevance to the curriculum (is the item useful for current teaching/research or projected future teaching/research?)

5.    Relevance to the existing collection (what other materials do we have on the same or related topics?)

6.    Usage (of the particular item, as well as other materials on the same or related topics)

7.    Availability within OhioLINK (typically 3 - 8 available copies, depending on subject matter) or online from a stable digital archive, e.g., JSTOR

8.    Value (monetary, historical, etc.)

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