Leddy Collection Review & Deselection Project

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Project Overview & FAQs

Update [July 17, 2023]: The review periods for all title lists has concluded. Thank you for your feedback during this process. For further information, please contact Shuzhen Zhao or your Liaison Librarian.

In early 2020 Leddy Library embarked on a systematic, comprehensive evaluation of its print circulating collection with the intent of identifying materials suitable for deselection (withdrawal) from the library.  The Leddy Library Collection Review & Deselection Project has included careful qualitative and quantitative analysis and a thorough review by each liaison librarian of titles in their respective subject areas.

Why is the library reviewing the print monograph collection?

  • The print monograph collection at Leddy has never undergone a systematic and thorough evaluation.
  • The buildings no longer have the capacity to house the current collection or to allow for future growth of the print collection. 
  • Collection evaluation is a crucial component to effective collection maintenance and development.
  • This project will address issues of currency and usefulness to ensure a high-quality collection suitable to the curriculum and the research needs of faculty, staff, and students.
  • The demands for on-campus space are extremely high, particularly student study space. 
  • Many of the materials under evaluation have full-text digital equivalents through the library's acquisitions of published e-books or digital copies of the originals in massive digitization efforts such as the Internet Archive and Hathi Trust. 

What is the benefit of an evaluation project?

  • Removing outdated and unused books increases the overall quality of the collection by making current scholarship and core works more visible. 
  • This process will reveal gaps and areas of underrepresentation in the collection, allowing librarians to focus on targeted collection development going forward. 
  • Leddy Library is committed to preserving distinctive items, including unique and rare books and titles related to the University’s mission and those which are of local or regional interest. 

What is the scope of the project?

  • The scope of this project is specifically the circulating print monograph collection in the Leddy Library. 
  • Excluded are print journals, audio/visual materials, Reference materials, Government documents and rare books.
  • Materials in the Paul Martin Law Library are NOT part of this project

What is the methodology being used?

Data Extraction

In 2019 over 1 million records from the Leddy Library catalogue were extracted and uploaded through OCLC into the GreenGlass collections analysis tool. The collections analysis report, known as the GreenGlass Report, provided key quantitative data utilized in the collection review project - such as location code, ISBN, call number, publication date, usage statistics, multiple editions, multiple copies, etc. 

Quantitative Analysis - Deselection Criteria

The circulating print monograph collection holds 711,000+ items. Quantitative deselection criteria were identified and applied to the 711,000+ items creating a subset of candidate titles for further review and consideration.  In most disciplinary areas the following deselection criteria were used (below) however individual librarians modified the values in some cases for their respective subject areas.  More detailed information is available from Cathy Maskell or your Liaison Librarian

Quantitative Deselection Criteria:

  • We began with titles which had 2 or fewer loans over the previous ten years;
  • The resulting set was narrowed down to books published 30 or more years ago;
  • The resulting set was narrowed further to titles acquired by the library 20 or more years ago;
  • Finally, the remaining set was limited to only those titles where exact print copies were currently available in 4 or more Canadian academic libraries

The application of these four criteria to the total set of 711,000+ items yielded a sub-set of about 152,000+ titles or roughly 21% of the total collection.   

The full list of titles were then parsed by Subject Area- according to the Library of Congress Classification system - and sent to the liaison librarians for their qualitative review. 
Qualitative Analysis - Librarian Review

Each librarian undertook a qualitative review of the title lists in their subject areas to identify titles which should not be withdrawn but rather retained in the library collection.  This is where their professional skill and disciplinary knowledge comes into play. An example of the types of qualitative criteria brought to bear in this review might include:

  • whether titles are primary source materials;
  • if titles are by seminal authors in the discipline or are canonical works;
  • whether titles are suitable for the rare books collection;
  • if titles have accessible full text digital copies available 
  • a review of the quantity and quality of related materials in the Leddy collection.
Faculty Consultation

Beginning June 1st 2022 we will will begin to post Title Lists after the qualitative Librarian Review. Lists will be posted according to academic unit across three phases  We invite our faculty colleagues to use this opportunity to review the carefully curated lists. 

  • Phase I:   June 1 - August 31, 2022
  • Phase II:  September 1 - December 31, 2022
  • Phase III: June 12 - July 14, 2023
  • Faculty members can submit a Retention Request Form for a title(s) they want to see kept in the library collection
  • In addition faculty members can request titles for their personal library on a first-come-first-served basis.

      What's going to happen to the books that are removed?

      • Leddy Library has partnered with Better Word Books (BWB) an online bookseller and a successful social enterprise whose mission is to divert books from landfills through resale to the public, donation to literacy programs around the world, or as donations to the digital preservation efforts of the Internet Archive.  
      • Faculty can request withdrawn books for their personal collections as part of the review process.
      • The Library will ensure that books that cannot be donated or used otherwise are responsibly recycled.

      Comments or Questions 

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