Clear the Floor

One Library’s Approach to the Removal and Integration of Items from Two Print Journal Collections

Robyn M. Gleasner (rgleasner@salud.unm.edu) is the Resource Management Librarian for Resources Archives and Discovery at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center. At the time of this project, she was the Cataloger.

The author would like to thank all HSLIC employees who made this project possible, especially Karen McElfresh and Kathleen Dull.

Due to the desire for more student space at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, the Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center reviewed its serial holdings both in the library and in its offsite storage facility and determined which titles to retain and discard. This paper will briefly describe the selection process and then discuss the methods and phases of the project used to discard material in two shelving locations including auctioning material, donating material to another library, removing unselected material, and repurposing material for a decorative noise-abatement wall. This paper will also discuss the process of integrating items selected for retention from two shelving locations in separate buildings into one shelving location. The author will share the lessons learned throughout the project.

The University of New Mexico (UNM) Health Sciences Center (HSC) determined a need for more student space and identified an opportunity for the Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center (HSLIC) to fill this need by creating a learning commons to support the community. In the summer of 2018, the library began an eighteen-month project to remodel the third floor of its three-floor library building to create this space. As the library’s unit responsible for collection development and technical services, the Resources Archives and Discovery (RAD) unit was tasked with developing a plan to remove all the print journals from the third floor of the library. The print analysis project to determine which titles to retain and discard ran from February to August 2018, and the removal and integration project ran from March to July 2019.

While the library had an offsite storage facility in the basement of an adjacent building, there was not sufficient space to house all the volumes from the third floor on the limited compact shelving space. The offsite storage facility already housed around 42,000 volumes that were published 1979 and earlier with no room for growth, meaning there was no room to accommodate the nearly 60,000 volumes from the third floor, which were published after 1980. This meant roughly 42,000 volumes from both shelving locations could be retained. After titles were selected to retain, a spreadsheet was created that included the OCLC number, title, decision, number of volumes offsite, and number of volumes on the third floor. This provided the total number of volumes being donated, discarded, and retained. It also provided the total number of volumes being retained in each shelving location.

Literature Review

Unfortunately, during the planning of the removal project there was little in the literature found on collection shifts simultaneously completed along with the relocation and disposal of material from multiple locations. This is surprising considering that in a 2007 published survey of Association of Research Libraries members, 84 percent of respondents said they conducted at least one move between 1994 and 2004.1 While this survey focused on temporary moves, this information is relevant as it shows the frequency of library moving projects and the lack of reporting them in the professional literature.

In the preparation stages of the project, Wells and Young’s Moving and Reorganizing a Library was consulted for guidance as it had been useful for developing plans for previous smaller shifts. Although written in 1997, the book still provides relevant information and formulas for calculating and determining shelf space as well as general information about planning a move.2

Fortriede’s Moving your Library: Getting the Collection from Here to There provided similar information but also included formulas for staffing, recommendations if hiring a moving company, an interfiling method and description of a staging area, as well as an intricate way of measuring space using string.3 The string method proved too complicated for this removal process but the book as a whole was instrumental in creating a plan.

Articles about libraries with similar projects were also reviewed. Sharpe describes a relocation project in which the M. D. Anderson Library at the University of Houston was tasked with removing the bound journals that were interfiled with their book collection to a newly installed storage system in the basement of the library. The article discusses making room and cleaning the new space for the bound journals as well as the importance of defining items being moved and their method of using stickers to designate items selected to move.4

The Albert S. Cook Library had the opposite goal in mind when faced with the merger of two libraries. They were tasked with interfiling their periodical collection with their monograph collection. Most important was determining whether there was sufficient space in the stacks to hold both collections. “With the major goal of collection integration in mind, any items no longer essential to the collection were removed. Technical services staff consulted with reference staff about weeding specific subject areas as well as archives staff about relocating titles due to age condition, or value.”5 Weeding provided an opportunity to keep the consolidated collection relevant and current as well as saving staff time in relabeling and reclassifying unneeded material.

The University of Cincinnati Medical Center Libraries developed a procedure when roughly 300–400 new journal titles were added to their collection. They considered two methods of space measurement: linear feet occupied/unoccupied and number of shelves occupied/unoccupied. “The number of shelves occupied/unoccupied method is less exact, but requires less staff time,” and so they chose this method. Then they calculated the future growth expected for each title. With these calculations, they marked on the shelf where each title should begin. Students worked in teams of two to put the journals in the correct place on the shelves using three book trucks: two students removed journals from the truck and placed them on assigned shelves while the delivering student picked up the truck they had previously emptied and returned it to the student loading trucks.6

On the other hand, The Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library chose to measure in linear feet to determine if their selected journals would fit in offsite storage. Their loading crew for moving the journals consisted of one “sending supervisor, one loading supervisor, and seven helpers.” The unloading crew in the new location consisted of “one receiving supervisor, one unloading supervisor, and seven helpers.” They also offered advice as far as selecting staff persons to be responsible for the move, preparing a checklist for each day, and being willing to work long hours.7

Most of the literature stresses the importance of making a plan before starting any library moving project. Dimenstein advises “when faced with a library move, plan the components of the project ahead of time, step by logical step. Make a project plan. . . . Think of all the tasks that have to be accomplished, put them in order, and assign target dates for the start and completion of each.”8 One of the most important parts of shift planning and implementation is to remember that mistakes happen and when they do, it’s time to step back from the project and take time to figure out how to solve the problems before moving forward.9 Choosing the appropriate time to move a collection is also very important. The library wants the move to be as smooth as possible and maintain a minimum amount of disruption to services.10

Logistical problems were a constant theme in the case studies reviewed. Kurth and Grim’s Moving a Library describes the transfer of around 8 million volumes from an old building to a new library and how the volumes to be moved were shelved among more than a million other volumes already shelved in the new library. To deal with this, along with other complexities, they created phases for the project that accompanied a timeline.11

The literature consulted discussed the people and roles necessary for conducting a move, the importance of creating a plan that included measurements of the material, available space, and the necessity for allocating space for any anticipated growth. As the HSLIC no longer collected print serials, growth calculations were unnecessary; however, the formulas suggested were helpful to determine if material retained would fit in the available space. The literature also offered advice on the best time to implement a move and how to keep movers and staff safe and morale up.

This paper will describe the HSLIC’s project plan for clearing the third floor. It will briefly discuss the criteria developed for the bound journals to retain and discard but focus in more depth on how to implement those decisions. This study outlines how to remove the journals in offsite storage to make room for the journals being retained, how to integrate the journals being retained from the third floor with the journals retained in offsite storage, and how to remove remaining journals and shelving from the third floor, as well as share lessons learned along the way.

Overview of Review Selection Process

The RAD unit, comprising the resource management librarian, scholarly communications librarian, and the cataloger, began by evaluating a subset of the journal collection, titles with ten or more total uses (composed of checkouts, soft use from the previous cataloging system, and soft use from the current cataloging system). Soft use, also known as a non-loan return, is how the interlibrary loan (ILL) staff check in items they have scanned for ILL or document delivery purposes. After the initial review of this subset of titles, the team determined that there was enough room in offsite storage to expand the criteria to include five or more total uses to retain more material.

Criteria used for evaluating journals for retention or discard at other institutions included usage, online access, print/online overlap, perpetual access to archival content, rarity, image quality, and specific importance of the journal to the library community.12 Another approach was to create a set of rules for withdrawing titles and a set of rules for retaining titles. Rules for withdrawing included titles represented in online archival packages, short or incomplete runs, and titles no longer relevant to the curricula. Rules for retaining titles in storage included whether online access was available (from any provider), whether the title had significant subject area status and/or there was continuing value for local collections, or if online versions were poorly scanned.13

These case studies aided the resource management librarian in developing and expanding criteria. See the appendix.

One complication that occurred during the review process involved supplements. Some supplements were cataloged on a separate record, and the journal title on the spreadsheet did not contain the word “supplement or “supplementum,” even though it appeared on the public facing side of OCLC’s WorldCat Discovery. It was decided that if the main title was marked to discard, the supplement should be discarded as well. Supplemental volumes were not evaluated separately from the overall serial title even if they were listed under a separate record.

Using the new criteria, the RAD team evaluated all 2,628 print journal titles. In the middle of the evaluation process, the scholarly communication librarian left the university and the electronic resources and serials librarian joined the team. Each of the three team members reviewed 300–400 titles. The entire review process took from February 2018 through April 2019.


The team made decisions about what to retain and discard by considering all the criteria. Recent use as measured by the current cataloging system’s soft use was the strongest factor that led to a decision to retain a title. If the library had access to the full electronic back run of a title, either perpetual access or through open access, the title was marked as a discard. Titles with little or no recent use were marked for discard provided they were available from the collaborative print storage facility. The team also looked at recent ILL lending requests and decided to retain titles that were lent frequently so that adverse effects on lending were minimized. Titles that were on the Abridged Index Medicus (AIM) list and not available electronically were also kept since these were considered core titles in each medical specialty.

RAD was the library’s unit responsible for collection development during this project. While the library had reference librarians, those librarians were not responsible for selection and were not consulted regarding the decisions made. If more time had been allotted to make these decisions, this may have been communicated differently with both users and other library employees.

As a result, the team made the following decisions listed in table 1.

Phases for the Move

Even more daunting than reviewing the titles was the task of implementing the decisions: how would the team move the material that was selected to retain from the third floor to offsite storage, and how would the material not selected be removed?

By combining information, methods, and advice from all the resources reviewed, RAD created a method that included five phases and subsequent steps. First, titles selected for discard had to be removed from offsite storage to make room for titles selected to retain from the third floor. The first three phases focused on the removal of those items.

  • Phase 1: auctioning material from offsite storage
  • Phase 2: donating material to fill gaps in other libraries’ collections
  • Phase 3: discarding material in offsite storage

The next two phases dealt with the complicated task of integrating the titles selected to retain on the third floor with the items already in offsite storage and then discarding or repurposing the remaining material on the third floor.

  • Phase 4: integrating items retained on third floor with items retained in offsite storage
  • Phase 5: discarding or repurposing material on the third floor

Phase 1: Auctioning Material from Offsite Storage

Members of the library’s administration and RAD units worked with university’s Purchasing and Shipping and Receiving offices to follow the university’s property management and control policy regarding the disposition of university assets.14 It was recommended that the library attempt to auction the material that was not chosen for retention. Because of the age and subject areas of these journals, it was doubtful anyone would want to purchase them for the content; however, there was a chance that someone would want them for the paper to reuse or recycle for their own projects.

Rather than put everything chosen for discard on auction, the team tested ten titles (about one hundred volumes) that had been marked for discard in the offsite storage location. These titles were selected because they were short runs only shelved in offsite storage and would not fill any gaps for potential donations, which will be discussed in the next section. This was an opportunity to test a process for removing material from the storage location. Individual shelves with the selected volumes were marked with electrical tape as well as the end of the range to indicate something needed to be pulled from that location. The Shipping and Receiving team pulled the items, packaged them, and then took them to their warehouse for viewing during the auction. The items were available to bid on for about a week.

No bids were received.

Phase 2: Donating Material to Fill Gaps in Other Library’s Collections

At the time of the project, the university did not have a collaborative storage facility available; however, the library had a consortial ILL agreement with an organization that did have such a facility. This facility was contacted to see which volumes marked for discard would fill gaps in their collection. A detailed spreadsheet of the discards was sent to them including title and specific volumes; they marked what they wanted and listed specific volumes to send to them. The items were then physically pulled from the shelf. Because they only wanted specific volumes rather than an entire run, the team pulling the material had to be extremely careful what was pulled. Around 3,000 volumes were shipped to the facility.

The library also investigated other donation programs. The library had worked with the African Library Project (ALP) in 2017 to donate books to Malawi. It cost around $1,400 to ship material to their facility in New Orleans and ALP covered the cost to ship to Malawi.15 Based on this information, the team decided it was not worth the investment to ship outdated material overseas.


Excel spreadsheets were created for each shelving location (third floor, offsite storage, and titles that were in both locations) to make pulling the items easier and more efficient. The spreadsheets each listed the OCLC number, title or description, shelved-with information, volumes requested by storage facility, total number of volumes, number of volumes offsite, number of volumes on third floor, a column to initial who pulled the volumes, and any notes worth mentioning. We had three teams work on pulling the items on each spreadsheet. Teams consisted of members from both Public Services and RAD units. The resource management librarian left the university and the cataloger managed the remainder of the project with the assistance of the electronic resources and serials librarian.

The titles on the spreadsheet matched the shelf order as closely as possible; however, some titles had a “shelved with” note in the catalog. This meant that the titles were shelved with a different title rather than alphabetically. For example, Biennial Scientific Report was shelved under Annual Scientific Report of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. This was marked in the spreadsheet when possible, but when it was not noticed, the catalog had to be searched, which added more time to the process. This was also the case in subsequent phases.

All items that were pulled were put on a library cart and then processed to remove all library property stamps. They were then moved to another room and placed on library moving carts that were rented from a moving company for storage. This entire process took about a month. The moving company was then hired to box and transport the items to the receiving library.

Phase 3: Discarding Material in Offsite Storage

There were 1,114 titles or about 26,775 volumes chosen to discard in offsite storage. The spreadsheet listing offsite storage materials marked for retention was split in half between the two teams from the Public Services and RAD units. The titles were in alphabetical order and matched the shelf order as closely as possible. Also listed on the spreadsheets used for marking the journals were the number of volumes that had been donated to make it easier to count the volumes for discard.

Volumes were marked with an “X” on the lower quarter of the spine; the first volume in the run was pulled and placed so that the spine was down on the shelf and the pages were face up. A green flag was placed in the lower quarter, so that a good portion of it stuck out from the shelf. The green flag signified the start of a run, and one could easily see it if looking down the range from the aisle. The last volume in the run was treated in the same way, but with a pink flag to show the end of the run.

If the run was particularly small (i.e., one to three volumes) and located between titles that were being kept, they were relocated at the end of a larger run marked for discard. This made the material for discard easier to see.

When the marking was complete for a title, the range number was noted on the spreadsheet to assist those supervising the moving company physically discarding the items. The titles were also listed at the end of each range for reference. Marking these items took a little over a week.

This method created a stop-and-go method for the moving company, with a green flag at the beginning of the run and a pink flag at the end of the run. They set up an assembly line of two people pulling items and loading the carts and three people moving the carts and dumping items in the dumpsters placed outside. This took about four days to complete.

Phase 4: Integrating Items Retained on Third Floor of Library with Items Retained in Offsite Storage

There were 456 titles consisting of 21,893 volumes selected for retention shelved on the third floor. The approach to marking these items for discard was similar to the above method. This time the spreadsheet of items on the third floor was divided into three, so that each team had around 152 titles to mark. Items were marked with an “O” to signify that the item was moving to offsite storage and then followed the same method of flagging.

Because these items were being kept, it was extremely important that the titles remained in alphabetical and chronological order as it would affect integrating these titles with the items currently shelved offsite.

Step 1: Preparation Work

To make sure that no items that should have been discarded from offsite storage remained on the shelves, one last check was completed. Items found were pulled onto a cart and taken back to the library for recycling.

The same moving company used to ship the donated materials was hired to help integrate the collections being retained. Five moving company employees and two supervising librarians were divided into two teams. Team 1 included one librarian and two moving company employees working in offsite storage. This allowed sufficient space for teams working in the compact shelving while also ensuring the order and accuracy of the work. Team 2 included one librarian and one moving company employee working on the third floor of the library.

Step 2: Clearing shelves in Offsite Storage to Make Room for New Material

There were around 15,200 volumes selected to retain and integrate with the third-floor volumes. To prepare for integrating or interfiling the collections, Team 1 was instructed to remove all items from the first seven ranges in offsite storage and placed on the moving company’s carts. Again, it was very important to retain all the items in alphabetical order and then chronological order while on the carts. To ensure this was the case, only single stacking was allowed. The carts were then lined down the center aisle in alphabetical order and a librarian numbered them on a bright purple piece of paper. The spreadsheet of titles was consulted to make sure all titles were accounted for.

Step 3: Pulling Items from the third Floor and Moving to Offsite Storage

Team 2 was instructed to pull all items with an “O” starting with a green flag and ending with a pink flag in alphabetical order and place them on the moving company’s carts. A librarian then numbered these carts on a bright pink piece of paper and noted if a title spanned more than one cart. Due to the library building floor plan, moving the volumes to offsite storage was a process that involved the efforts of three workers. Carts were left in the front of the offsite storage location for Team 1 to integrate items with items already pulled from offsite storage shelving.

Step 4: Integrating the Collections

The librarian supervisors had an alphabetical list of titles and directed the order in which they were placed on the shelves in offsite storage. Cart 1 from offsite storage was brought to the first range and the first title was placed on the shelf. That same title was then found on Cart 1 from the third floor and added to the shelf. If the title was only on the third floor and not in offsite storage, it was added to the shelf before moving on to the next title. The librarian made sure that the number of volumes was correct before moving to the next title and then did a spot check to make sure the volumes were in chronological order until members of the moving company learned the process. When shelved, the librarian highlighted the title on the title list before moving to the next title.

All four steps were repeated for all forty-one ranges in offsite storage. This took about three weeks to complete.

Phase 5: Discarding or Repurposing Material on Third Floor

After the above phases were complete, just over 37,000 volumes remained on the third floor. Initially, the moving company was going to remove these items in a similar manner to the process in Phase 1. However, the unit lead for RAD realized that without the bound journals on the third floor, the sound carried. She worried the noise would be a distraction for students when studying in the new space. The Arizona State University Library recommendations on library spaces note that “the physical design of the stacks on two levels: as physical locations in the library as a whole and as spaces to which users want to go” and advises that “the library must be developed as a space that is not merely functional but guides users to the best aspects of itself.”16 For these reasons, it was decided that around 3,500 of the bound journals marked for discard on the third floor should be retained for decorative and noise abatement purposes. This would be enough material to fill three ranges front and back with the decorative journals. These items were removed from the catalog and not allowed for check out.

Step 1: Marking and pulling items for decorative noise abatement walls

First, the unit lead of RAD determined a color palette of the journals that should be kept for the decorative noise abatement walls. Orange, teal, gray, black, and three different shades of green were selected to retain. The cataloger and the electronic resources and serials librarian, in conjunction with the unit lead, selected items that were not damaged by the sun. Because these items would be decorative, the spines could not be marked. Instead, a pink slip of paper was put inside each volume selected to retain.

All items had to be removed before the remodel could begin, and accordingly the selected decorative journals were pulled by the movers and taken to the moving company’s warehouse. The moving company pulled the marked items and then sorted them into boxes by color. The boxes were then loaded on to a pallet and shrink wrapped before moving to their warehouse for storage.

Creating the decorative noise abatement walls was a separate project that began after the remodel was complete.

Step 2: Remaining material and shelving

The remaining journals were then discarded in a dumpster behind the library. The shelving from the third floor was then dismantled and removed. This took around ten days to complete.

Challenges and Future Projects

The movers available to shift each day were not always the same people, so brief trainings had to be given each day before work could begin. This was a good practice so that both movers and librarian supervisors were all on the same page. It also allowed librarians to review safety and operational guidelines with the movers.

Many of the movers were not familiar with libraries or how items were shelved. Library supervisors had to watch them closely and sometimes jump in and help move items to ensure that material stayed in the right order. This was especially important when integrating the material from the third floor with items offsite. There were times when material was shelved incorrectly and then had to be pulled and reshelved. While this is not unusual in libraries, the movers were extremely frustrated when this occurred because they saw it as wasted labor. However, fixing the problem in the moment allowed us to prevent problems for locating material in the future.

Some titles were shelved with another title or continued as a different title and were shelved out of alphabetical order to accommodate the new title. This presented some challenges along the way, especially when pulling items for donation, as the items could not easily be located. The catalog record had to be consulted for these titles to find where the continuation was shelved. Because of this, the team chose to combine the runs of certain titles for easier access in the future. For these titles, item records were either moved to a new record in the catalog or the “shelved with” 590 note was deleted. Similarly, it was decided to include supplements chronologically with the main run rather than shelve them at the end of a run. This should make it easier for ILL staff to find and pull information for requests.

After the journals were physically moved or discarded, the catalog had to be updated to reflect these changes. This process was a bit more time consuming than originally thought. Using OCLC’s WorldShare Management Service (WMS), ten records were deleted at a time to maintain control and consistency of the records withdrawn from the catalog. Luckily, this was done by OCLC number and not on the item level. Although the process was time consuming, it ensured that nothing was deleted accidently and also removed holdings from WorldCat. This took around a month to complete. Document delivery request buttons were added to the records of items held in WorldCat Discovery, so that users could still request these items.

As of the writing of this paper, the project to shift the journals back to redistribute weight on the shelving in offsite storage continues. This should help extend the lifetime of the shelving and create a safer environment for pulling the material for ILL and document delivery requests. Upon completion of this shift, an inventory may be conducted to ensure that the journals on the shelf are accurately represented in the catalog. Similarly, a complete audit of the library’s holdings in Docline, the National Library of Medicine’s ILL request routing system, will also need to be conducted to make sure that it is up to date.

It is difficult to determine the long-term effect that discarding nearly 78 percent of the library’s print journal collection will have on users. While RAD attempted to keep the materials most likely to be requested, it is difficult to predict future use as research needs change and evolve over time. In most cases the HSLIC had electronic access to the material that was discarded, but electronic access is not always stable, for example, when access is through an aggregator database. Additionally, images/graphics, tables, data, even advertisements are not always included in electronic access. Further research including analyzing ILL requests will need to be done to determine how the decisions have affected the HSLIC users and the collection.

Lessons Learned

A project on this scale involved the entire library and even campus administration. The library’s RAD unit created selection criteria and managed the move of the collection, but in order to meet this goal and the timeline volunteers from other units were needed. The library’s administration helped coordinate the location of dumpsters and the communication with those who might be affected.

The most important lesson learned along the way was the value of patience and the ability to be flexible. Even though detailed project plans and processes were outlined for both librarians and moving company employees, unexpected problems were encountered that forced a different approach. For example, the moving company employees noticed that some of the shelving in the offsite storage facility was unstable. Because there was concern for safety, the project had to be put on hold for a few days to determine if the shelves could be secured. Because there were issues with our shelf maintenance agreement, the material had to be removed from the shelving and stored on carts rented from the moving company for more than a year until this could be resolved.

The shelving was unstable, in part, because the shelves were overloaded with material. Not only was an accurate measurement needed for linear feet to ensure that all material retained would fit, but an estimate of how much that material weighed as well as knowing how much weight each shelving unit can hold would have been helpful. The author of this paper recommended to library administration that the material moved offsite be shifted to the back row of the offsite storage facility and spaced accordingly to evenly distribute the weight on the shelves. This project is currently underway.

While the weight of material on the shelf was not considered, a rough estimate of the weight of the material being discarded was calculated to determine the number of dumpsters needed. This was important because the overall cost was based on the number of dumpsters needed. Also of importance was the amount of material disposed of per day and when a replacement dumpster could be ordered. If it was not ordered on time, the removal of material could be delayed.

Overall, patrons were not concerned that journals were being removed from the library and storage. They were, however, concerned what was going to happen to those journals. The most frequently asked question was, “Are the journals being recycled?” The moving company assured us that this would be the case, however no further details were provided.


The task of “clearing the third floor” was so much more than simply removing all the material from the floor. It involved a thoughtful approach to select titles to retain, determine titles that could be used by others or in creative ways such as the decorative journals, then develop a plan to actually remove material—first in offsite storage and then the third floor of the library—in a manner least intrusive to users, and finally cleaning up the catalog so that users could still find and request material. The project also involved coordinating with several departments and individuals both internal and external to the library, including the moving company, so it was important to have a shared understanding of the scope of the project with each group. It was equally important to communicate the scope as well as the progress of the project with stakeholders and be available to answer questions that might arise.

While the project was anything but simple and shifting to redistribute weight continues as of the writing of this paper, the method to remove and integrate material was successful. The moving company consulted with us later to use the same method on another library move. Therefore, this method can be adapted for both larger and smaller library moves by determining the number of people and amount of supplies needed for the project. No matter the size of the library or scope of the moving project, it is important to have a project plan, be flexible in its implementation when unpredictable issues arise, and communicate progress and problems with all stakeholders throughout the process.


  1. Stephanie S. Atkins and Jennifer Hain Teper, “A Survey of Library Practices in Planning and Managing Temporary Moves,” Collection Management 30, no. 4 (June 2007): 59–84, https://doi.org/10.1300/j105v30n04_05.
  2. Marianna S. Wells and Rosemary Young, Moving and Reorganizing a Library (Aldershot, England: Gower, 1997).
  3. Steven Carl Fortriede, Moving Your Library: Getting the Collection from Here to There (Chicago: American Library Association, 2010).
  4. Paul A. Sharpe, “The Big Shift: How the University of Houston Libraries Moved Everything,” Journal of Access Services 9, no. 2 (April 2012): 66–79, https://doi.org/10.1080/15367967.2012.658726.
  5. Elaine Mael, “When One Plus One Remains One,” Library Resources & Technical Services 58, no. 4 (November 2014): 265–65, https://doi.org/10.5860/lrts.58n4.265.
  6. Billie Broaddus and Alice Hurlebaus, “Planning and Implementing a Major Journal Shift in a Health Sciences Library,” Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 69, no. 4 (October 1981): 395–96.
  7. Darcel Bryant, “The Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library: The Howard University Move Experience,” Journal of the Medical Library Association 92, no. 2 (2004): 251–51.
  8. Catherine Dimenstein, “Executing a Library Move: A Planned Approach to Moving Your Library,” Information Outlook 8, no. 1 (January 2004): 37–41.
  9. Shirien Chappell, “Moving Library Collections: UO Libraries,” University of Oregon Libraries Scholar’s Bank, 2006, p. 63, https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/handle/1794/12208.
  10. Derek Cash, “Moving a Library Collection,” Public Library Quarterly 20, no. 4 (September 10, 2001): 17–28, https://doi.org/10.1300/J118v20n04_03.
  11. William H. Kurth and Ray W. Grim, Moving a Library (New York: Scarecrow, 1966).
  12. Barbara M. Dietsch, Emma Cryer Heet, and Patricia L. Thibodeau, “Sweeping It All Away: A Case Study in the Elimination of an On-Site Journal Collection,” Serials Review 41, no. 3 (July 3, 2015): 153–59, https://doi.org/10.1080/00987913.2015.1065393.
  13. William Joseph Thomas and Daniel L. Shouse, “Rules of Thumb for Deselecting, Relocating, and Retaining Bound Journals,” Collection Building 31, no. 3 (2012): 92–97, https://doi.org/10.1108/01604951211243470.
  14. “Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual—Policy 7710: Property Management and Control” (University of New Mexico, 2015), https://policy.unm.edu/university-policies/7000/7710.html.
  15. Karen R McElfresh, Laura J Hall, and Patricia Repar, “Planning and Completing a Book Drive for Malawi,” University of New Mexico Digital Repository, October 2017, https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hslic-posters-presentations/79/.
  16. “The Future of the Academic Library Print Collection: A Space for Engagement,” Arizona State University of Library, 2017, http://hdl.handle.net/2286/R.I.50125.

Appendix: Criteria for Discarding and Retaining

Discard if:

  • Available electronically, either purchased access or via stable, open access repository
  • Short run or run with a lot of gaps, and no use
  • Duplicate volume (keep no more than one copy or a title or individual volume)
  • Very low or no use, provided the title is available from other libraries

Consider discarding if:

  • Low/no use and available electronically, non-perpetual access from publisher or aggregator
  • Any of the below factors, assuming the title is held at the collaborative storage facility
    • Low/no use and not core
    • Low/no use and not a current e-journal subscription
    • Low/no use and title ceased publication
  • Non-English language and no use
  • Out of scope
  • Holdings at main campus library and not clinical/health sciences topic (i.e., chemistry, biology, psychology, child development)

Retain if:

  • Medium to high use (five or more soft uses in OCLC)
  • Electronic access is not perpetual
  • Collaborative storage facility does not have any of the title or lacks a large portion of the title (less than twenty volumes is a general guideline)
  • Title is frequently loaned via ILL
  • Core or ‘important title,’ or on Abridged Index Medicus (AIM) list
  • Journal has a lot of image content (such as journals in specialties of pathology, radiology, and surgery)
  • Backfile too expensive to purchase
  • Journals with local or special interest

Table 1. Number of volumes and titles selected to retain, discard, and donate












407 (not complete run)


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