Guideline UL-ADG13 Removal of Library Material from the Collection

Main Policy Content


  • Purpose
  • Process
  • Sustainability
  • HathiTrust Last Copy Restrictions
  • Government Document Depository Materials
  • Special Collections
  • Additional References


To describe how materials owned by the Penn State University Libraries (PSUL) may be reviewed and selected for removal from the collection.


Materials may be considered for removal based on a number of factors, including accuracy and relevancy of materials, physical condition, recent circulation activity, duplication, availability from other sources, and the value of material to teaching and research. After review by authorized selectors, materials selected for removal will be withdrawn by library staff following defined procedures:


The Penn State Libraries will donate or recycle materials selected for removal whenever possible.  When donating materials, we must work with the approved vendor and follow the approved process which includes, library staff removing all PSUL markings from materials. 

HathiTrust Last Copy Restrictions:

PSUL is committed to retain the last copy (final, single copies of items remaining in PSUL collections) of any monographs held as part of our HathiTrust consortial agreement.

For materials that we’re not committed to retain, any withdrawn last copies must be reported to Cataloging, as well as all serial and periodical withdrawals.

Government Document Depository Materials:

PSUL is a government document depository for the United States, Pennsylvania, Canada, United Nations, and European Union. Depository materials may only be withdrawn after a written plan from a selector is approved or material list has been reviewed and approved by the Government Documents Librarian. Depository materials can be identified by a black stamp including the word “Depository” (e.g.: “U. S. Depository Copy”). Please be aware that some depository materials have been re-classed and integrated into other collections.

Special Collections:

All materials selected for removal from the Department's holdings will be reviewed and approved by the appropriate selector/curator.


BS15 Disposal and Purchase of Obsolete, Surplus or Scrap University-Owned Equipment, Supplies and/or Materials


Effective Date: October 8, 2012
Date Approved: October 8, 2012 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • April 2, 2014 -- Training Bulletin #25 retired
  • October 8, 2012 -- New guideline
  • December 12, 2022 -- New guideline

Last Review Date:  July 2022