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Book Deselection 2022

What is legacy print?

Legacy print refers to print journals and monographs, often older content, which receive little or no use. Academic libraries nationally are grappling with retiring legacy print collections, a number of larger academic research libraries have established high-density storage facilities to house legacy print collections. Acknowledging that no academic library can retain everything, our libraries are increasingly collaborating with one another on the retention of legacy print.

What counts as circulation?

Circulation is not just recorded when a library user checks out a book and exits the library with it! Here are some other ways our team measures circulation of physical items:

  • In-house use; print books and journals placed at stations for re-shelving are scanned to record use before student workers reshelve them
  • Interlibrary loan; items lent to other libraries are scanned to record use

Project overview

Creighton University Libraries are preparing to vacate the Health Sciences Library at the BioInformation Center (BIC), consolidating collections, staff, and study spaces in the Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library. One project involved in this consolidation is an analysis of legacy print collections to determine how much space will be required for collections storage. While deselection, or removal of print content from the collections, is a standard part of stewardship, this project is unusual in that it involves a full analysis of all print collections across two of our libraries. 

Our team is collaborating with faculty on decision making surrounding what legacy print is retained, to ensure that no resources needed on campus for teaching, learning, or research are removed from the collections. This website, containing preliminary deselection title lists, is the primary tool used to solicit feedback from faculty. Librarians from our team are available to share more information to colleges, schools, and departments upon request. Please reach out to Rick Kerns, Head of Academic Information Resources, to schedule a presentation or request more information. 

Changes in circulation

The behavior of library users is changing, while circulation of electronic materials rises steadily, circulation of physical materials continues to decline. The National Centers for for Education Statistics (NCES) survey data demonstrates a 59% decrease in physical circulation among Title IV degree-granting institutions between FY14 and FY19. The decline in physical circulation (print books, journals and media) at the Health Sciences Library and Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library for a similar time period, FY15 and FY20 indicates a 48% decline. 

Collaborative print retention programs

Who retains print content and how do we ensure that it isn't lost? There are a number of academic library groups, or consortia, that work together to retain print books. While Creighton University Libraries are not a part of a print retention program, our peer libraries participating in retention programs share materials with us through our interlibrary loan services. Click the links below to learn more about some of the major print retention programs in the nation.