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Sustainable Collections (Draft)  

Working guide
Last Updated: Mar 15, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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The ALI/PALNI Shared Print Project

In 2013-14, 36 Indiana academic libraries came together to take part in the ALI/PALNI* Shared Print Project. By sharing their resources, the libraries were able to engage Sustainable Collection Services to analyze the circulating print monographs of each library individually and as a whole. The Project has both short-term and long-term goals. In the short-term, libraries are able to make data-driven decisions about weeding their collections and reclaim space for student use. As we look to the future, the Project can also be the foundation for a shared collection mindset and allow greater cooperative collection development.

*Academic Libraries of Indiana (ALI) / Private Academic Libraries Network of Indiana (PALNI)

What we learned about our collection from the Project analysis

The analysis and comparison of participant libraries' circulating print collections revealed the following about our collection:

Data category

No. of volumes

% of total 

Collection size



Scarcely held items 



Probable duplicate items



Items with “0” recorded uses




    What we're doing in response to the Project analysis

     First:   All volumes noted as "scarcely held" are retained in our collection indefintely.  A scarcely held volume is, in this instance, an exact edition that is held in fewer than 4 Indiana academic libraries and fewer than 10 libraries in the United States.

    Second:  All volumes identifed as "probable duplicate copies" within our collection will be reviewed.  If two or more copies of an exact edition is found, all but one copy will be withdrawn.

    Third: Volumes that are listed as having had "no recorded use" since 1994 will be reviewed.  A "recorded use" indicates that the volume has been:

    • checked-out by a member of the Wabash community
    • found on a table within the Library but not checked-out
    • placed in the Reserve Collection by a faculty member
    • loaned to another library via interlibrary loan.

    If the volume has a publication and/or acquistion date prior to 2000 it will be relocated to the Compact Shelving Unit (CSU).  In the CSU it will still be discoverable in our online catalog and may be checked-out for the same length of time as a volume in the General Collection.

    Fourth: Lists of volumes in the CSU will be made available for review by faculty to determine which should be withdrawn, and to assist  faculty in identifying new books for acquisition to better meet the current needs of our academic mission and curriculum.  

    Reviewing books to be withdrawn

    Faculty interested in reviewing withdrawal candidates may download a spreadsheet available in the "Lists of books to be withdrawn" box, (upper right).

    The reasons for retaining a book are listed below.  Note the corresponding number(s) in the "Reason to Retain" column cell adjacent to the "Title" column cell on the review spreadsheet. 

    1.  Classic Work
    2.  Major Author
    3.  Important Press
    4.  Supports Emerging Curriculum
    5.  Part of a Set
    6.  Local History

    Keep in mind that a book appearing on a review spreadsheet:  A) was published and/or acquired before 2000; B) has no record of "use" since 2000; C) is an exact copy of books held in at least 4 other Indiana academic libraries and at least 10 other libraries in the United States.

    Want a replacement for a book listed on a review spreadsheet? Request it here. Not sure what to recommend? Consult Choice Reviews online or ask us to find something suitable.


      Lists of books to be withdrawn

      Books being considered for withdrawal are listed alphabetically by title in subject specific spreadsheets. If you think a listed book should be retained, note the number(s) corresponding to the reason(s) for retention in the "Reason to Retain" column cell adjacent to the "Title" column cell on the spreadsheet.  When finished, save a copy of the spreadsheet to your desktop and send it to  John Lamborn.

      Subject Spreadsheets:

      Academies                                                (Review ends 05/20/17)


           (Review ends 05/20/17)

      Air Force 
           (Review ends  05/20/17)

        What happens to books that are withdrawn?

        When possible, books withdrawn from our collection are donated to Better World Books.  Books that do not meet the criteria for donation are offered to members of the Wabash College community. Books not taken by members of our community are donated tothe Crawfordsville District Public Library for the Friends Book Sale. Books that are damaged or unwanted are recycled.


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