Guidelines for Withdrawing Materials From the Collections

The following types of items may be selectively withdrawn from the general collections of the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. These decisions are based on the professional judgment of the librarians assigned to manage the collections and reflect the need to periodically remove materials with no research value from crowded areas of the book stacks.


Superseded Editions

  • Superseded editions of serials such as annuals or directories containing obsolete information. Example: older Peterson's Guides once the latest editions have arrived.
  • Outdated directories no longer of academic use and having no historical significance or particular reputation.

Duplicate Issues/Volumes

  • Loose issues of journals which duplicate issues in bound volumes.
  • Duplicate volumes or runs held at H-TML or other Tulane libraries.
  • Not currently received incomplete serial runs for which another Tulane library holds a more complete set.

Outdated Standards

  • Old standards and specifications where the source maintains archives and makes them available on request.

Outdated Indexes Covered by More Comprehensive Ones

  • Old runs of highly specific indexes where coverage is now included in more comprehensive publications.

Special Categories of Serials Subject to More Rigorous Examination 

Outdated Newsletters

  • Newsletters--either back files or single issues--which contain dated current awareness information.

Scattered Journal Issues--10+ yrs old

  • Scattered issues of journals which are at least 10 years old or older.


Multiple Copies/Low Circulation

  • Multiple copies with low circulation (no circulation in the last 7-8 years). As a general rule, we would retain 2 copies for the collections.

Poor Condition/Low Circulation

  • Titles in very poor physical condition which have very low circulation and are held by other academic libraries in the southern region.

Outdated Textbooks

  • Outdated textbooks having no historical significance or particular reputation.

Outdated Dictionaries

  • Dictionaries of no linguistic or historical significance replaced by newer editions.

Outdated Self-Help and How To Books

  • Older "self-help" titles with no historical significance or particular reputation and "how-to" or technical manuals with outdated information, also with with no historical significance or particular reputation.  

Withdrawal Procedure

Items requested for withdrawal are sent through the listserv to the Associated Dean of Libraries. Requests should include full identification of the item or items and their holdings, as well as a brief description of how the request meets the library’s Guidelines for Withdrawing Materials from the Collections or why the item(s) should otherwise be withdrawn. If there are no general objections to the request from the listserv, the Associate Dean then reviews the request with the Collection Management Group for approval, since the chief bibliographers in this group can verify whether the requested withdrawal of the item(s) would have no broader ramifications for other disciplines, and others in the group can advise on any potential issues relative to processing the request.

Once the request is approved, the withdrawal would be carried out by the Technical Services Division where:

  • Stacks Management will remove the item(s) from the shelf
  • Database Management will withdraw the relevant title, holdings and item records from the catalog and WorldCat
  • Acquisitions will search for any open orders associated with the item(s) and contact a service provider, such as Better World Books, who generally handles withdrawn items for disposal. If the item or items are not accepted by a service provider, they will go to a recycle dumpster at the Tulane Libraries Off-site Facility

October 2013

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