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Collection Management Policies

Oxford College Collection Development

Deselection Process

Print materials may be selected for weeding and withdrawing when they become outdated, are in need of repair, or do not reflect Oxford's current curriculum. All withdrawn items are removed from OCLC, Alma, and donated to Better World Books.

Donated books that have been gifted to the library are analyzed for their value to the collection and are either retained or donated to Better World Books.

Below is a basic retention schedule/guideline for retention of items, based on Dewey classification.

Retention Policies for Evaluating Collection:

000s - General:

  • General Encyclopedias: Replace at least one set of encyclopedias every 5 years.  Establish replacement schedule.
  • Foreign Language Encyclopedias = weed/replace every 10 years.  Must support Foreign Language courses offered to Oxford Students (including courses taught on the Atlanta campus).
  • Reference sources about Computer technology  = weed/replace after 3 years or older.

100s - Philosophy and Psychology:

  • Scholarly reference works on psychology = weed/replace after five to eight years.
  • Scholarly reference works on philosophy = weed/replace after 10 years

200s - Religion and Mythology:

  • Scholarly reference works on Religion & Mythology = weed/replace after 10-15 years.   Include equal coverage on each of the 4 major religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism. 
  • World mythology: include equal coverage on (not just western or European mythology).  Weed/replace after 10-15 years.

300s - Social Sciences:

  • Almanacs, statistical data = keep 2 years worth (current & last year).  Put on Standing Order.  Withdraw out-of-date almanacs.
  • Handbooks on College Admissions, Scholarship/Financial Aid, College Majors = weed/replace every year.  Put on Standing Order
  • Scholarly reference works on Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Social Welfare, Ethnology, Women’s Studies, Law, Government and Education = weed/replace after 5-8 years. Be sure your collection is balanced and current, especially for controversial topics. 

400s - Languages:

  • English dictionaries & Foreign language dictionaries (bilingual only) = weed/replace after 5 years.  Multiple copies ok (wear out fast, high use item).  Perhaps have certain editions on Standing Order. 

Many reference works are issued in revised editions, and previous editions can usually be removed. Dictionaries are an exception to this rule, particularly unabridged versions.  Another exception is any new edition that supplements rather than replaces an older edition, such as quotation books.

  • Foreign language dictionaries: weed/replace after 5 years.  Coverage supports foreign language courses offered to Oxford Students (including courses taught on Atlanta campus).  Bilingual Editions only.
  • Slang, idiomatic, and historical dictionaries = weed/replace after 5 years.  English only.
  • Dictionary of Foreign Terms and/or Phrases = weed/replace after 5 years.


500s - Pure Sciences:

  • Basic, historical works on science (e.g., Darwin's On the Origin of Species) = retain.
  • Current scientific sources = continuously update!  Weed/replace after 3-5 years.
  • Scientific sources on Animals, Plants, Insects (Flora and Fauna) = weed/replace after 10-15 years.


600s - Applied Sciences:

  • Medicine, Health = weed/replace after 5 years, unless history of medicine.
  • All other Applied Sciences = weed/replace after 5-10 years.


700s - Arts and Recreation:

  • Histories of art and music = should be kept until they wear out.
  • Theatre & film = keep updated.
  • Sports = keep updated.


800s - Literature:

  • English & American literature and poetry = keep updated.  Be sure coverage reflects diversity and is inclusive (e.g. includes women, African-American, Asian-American, Native American, Latino, Gay & Lesbian writers).  Time period coverage goes back to 1400s through present.  Include a few sources covering Old English works.
  • Classical literature & poetry=Include sources primarily about Latin writers and works, some about Greek.
  • African, Caribbean, Latin American literature & poetry= Keep updated.  Include some historical, but mostly 20th – present writers.
  • Asian literature & poetry?

900s - History, Travel and Geography:

  • Travel and geographical materials = weed/replace after 2 years (unless it has a significant amount of background or history information that you can't get anywhere else.)
  • History = keep updated.  Weed/replace after 15-20 years.  Coverage (historical & current) includes: America, Civil War, South, Georgia (see below), Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy (classical and modern), Europe (in general) Russia/Soviet Union, Spain, Greece (classical & modern), China, Japan, India & Indochina, (Asia in general), Latin & Central America, Africa, South Africa, Caribbean.
  • Biography = keep updated
  • Georgia Materials: (History & Biography) = Weed lightly.  Look for new editions or updated information.  Keep as much as you can—depending on the scope and size of our library and the presence of a local historical society.