Frequently Asked Questions -- UCSC University Library Withdrawals


Frequently Asked Questions -- UCSC University Library Withdrawals

Why does the Library withdraw materials? 

All libraries withdraw (or deaccession) materials for a variety of reasons.   Some titles are periodically revised, and older editions are withdrawn. Damaged materials are withdrawn and replaced by new copies. In addition, libraries "weed" their collections of older, low-use, materials on an ongoing basis to make room for newly-published titles.

Aren't older, low-use items stored at remote library facilities?

Yes.  For many years, the University Library has been unable to house all of its collections in the two on-campus libraries, and has sent to an off-campus facility those materials that receive infrequent usage by students and faculty. In fact, the Library for years has sent nearly two volumes to storage for every three volumes that are newly acquired. Off-campus storage is an accepted practice followed by all campuses of the University of California system, as well as libraries worldwide. Books sent to storage become part of a UC-wide shared storage collection (housed in two large facilities, one in Northern California and one in Southern California).  These less-frequently used materials of enduring research value are retrievable in two working days for use at any of the UC campuses.


Why has the UCSC Library had a major withdrawal project in recent years?


As noted above, the Library is unable to house all of its collections as well as the steady stream of new publications each year.  By agreement, only one copy of any particular book can become part of the remote library facility in Northern California.  Beginning in July 2004, to deal with its space issues, the Library has withdrawn from its collection thousands of books that are already adequately stored at the Northern Regional Library Facility.  The Library has also withdrawn  a large number of bound serials, which are also available from one of the two UC Regional Library Facilities or are available electronically.


What does the library do with its withdrawals?

The Library makes a substantial effort to identify other institutions, in the United States and abroad, which might benefit from these materials. The Library also sends selected materials to various charitable organizations, domestic and foreign, where a need for these kinds of materials has been identified.  Lastly, the Library has arrangements with sellers of used books to sell material that is deemed marketable. These materials, marked “withdrawn from UCSC,”  find their way to appreciative individuals who have an interest in specialized and older materials. All proceeds from these sales are placed into the Library collections budget and make possible the purchase of newly published titles.

Why doesn't the Library have a used-book sale like some other libraries?


The Library has neither the space nor the staff to support an in-house book sale.  The Library is actively engaged in a building and renovation project that requires that materials be quickly moved from the building.  In addition, staffing levels within the Library require that existing staff focus on the Library's core mission of serving the research needs of faculty, students, and staff.