Backfile retention policies -Summary Jennifer van Sickle 30 Nov 1998 21:18 UTC

Hi everyone,

        At the request of several respondents,  I have summarized the
responses received to my original post re: serials backfile retention
policies  (see end of message).  I received about a dozen replies from
university, college, and medical libraries.

        The following web sites have library collection development

        The libraries who responded weed periodicals under the following

-The library owns only fragments of a title, and the cost of
replacement/microfiche is not justified by the current demand

-The subscription ceased >10 years ago and has no apparent current value OR

-The subscription ceased >5 years ago and the related programs have been
discontinued OR

-The title has been replaced by remote access; immediate physical presence
is no longer needed

-The title has value for only the current or a few years only

-For those who use offsite storage for older titles ( e.g. 1920s-1930s), ILL
requests for offsite titles are tracked.  If none are requested for a year,
then the title is removed.

-For a very small library, older titles are discarded in fields where
current research is more important

-Items >20 years old and have been collected for <10 years are candidates
for discard

-"Title by title" approach-depends on use patterns of title, indexing,
relevance to library mission, local availability, input from faculty

-When a periodical is cancelled, keep back files for several years, then
discard-microfiche included

-Statistics-if a title is not used at least 3 times a year for 3 years
(includes check out, reshelving, photocopying), it is cancelled

        Weeding policies appear to be more stringent when space is an issue.
Larger institutions can be more liberal in their retention policies.  Two
large university libraries keeps all periodicals, either in fiche or bound
volumes.  The only exception to this is recreational reading for students.

        Thank you very much to all who responded.  I hope this is helpful.

Jennifer van Sickle
Serials Librarian/Science bibliographer
Trinity College
300 Summit St.
Hartford, CT 06106

860-297-2250 phone
860-297-2251 fax

> -----Original Message-----
> From: van Sickle, Jennifer
> Sent: Wednesday, November 11, 1998 2:41 PM
> Subject:      Backfile retention policies
> Hi everyone,
>       We are a liberal arts undergraduate institution with about 2000
> students.  We are in a consortium with two other colleges within the
> state.  I would like to hear from similar libraries re: their
> policies/guidelines regarding the following:
> -Backfile retention of journals no longer received by the library
> -For smaller satellite libraries, what stays on the shelf and what goes in
> storage (specifically science libraries)
>       I'll summarize if there is enough interest. My thanks to Sheila
> Stuckey for sending a copy of her university's collection development
> manual.
> Jennifer van Sickle
> Serials Librarian/Science bibliographer
> Trinity College
> 300 Summit St.
> Hartford, CT USA 06106