U-M Library summer print removal project gets underway
June 5, 2023
In June, the U-M Library will begin removing about 170,000 items from the collection — most of them backfiles of print journals for which the library has purchased perpetual online access, along with duplicate copies and large, rarely-used sets of reference materials that are also now available online.
“Just as we very thoughtfully add to our collection, we also just as thoughtfully remove items. We make these decisions informed by library best practices and the needs of our research and learning community,” said Bryan Skib, associate university librarian for collections.
“We are fortunate to be a part of a great network of libraries, and we always look to ensure access will be available to items slated for removal through our partner libraries, particularly the Big Ten Academic Alliance and in HathiTrust,” Skib added.
As part of its usual collection management, the library is constantly evaluating and making decisions about what can be removed. With more than 8 million physical volumes, it’s not unusual for many thousands of items to be permanently removed over the course of a year. This increase is, in part, connected to an unexpected decrease in shelving space capacity due to safety concerns.
Since the removal project over the summer involves a large number of volumes at once, it’s important to communicate ahead of time to the community, said Lisa Carter, dean of libraries.
“I am confident these withdrawals will not have any significant impact on students or researchers, who will have ready access to the content online, and can request print versions if needed via the library's interlibrary loan service,” Carter said.
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