Skip to Main Content

Collection Development and Maintenance

Rightsizing Our Collection

Defining Rightsizing

Rightsizing is a process that optimizes our collection by identifying content (print and electronic) that no longer meets the curricular needs, or is preserved and accessible in other ways, or supports the responsible stewardship of resources (staff, time, money, space), and then removing that content from the collection. Rightsizing allows OSUL to maintain a relevant and usable collection. It also allows the library to maintain accessible stacks that keep print material visible while reducing damage.

Why We Rightsize:

  • To prioritize current curricular and research needs.
  • To facilitate accessible browsing and discovery of relevant materials.
  • To provide space for new acquisitions and services.  
  • To maintain the collections in an acceptable physical condition.
  • To assure the currency of information as appropriate.
  • To ensure the preservation of historically significant resources.

How do we make these decisions?

Each rightsizing decision will have unique drivers and will be guided by our collection values of collaboration, discovery and stewardship.

A rightsizing process could include one or more of the following: consulting usage data, evaluating just in time access, soliciting library-wide feedback, and assessing need for space or moving materials among other business needs. Additional elements considered include open access availability, access versus ownership, space stewardship, and a holistic view of OSU’s curricular trajectory.

What happens to the material?

All material purchased by OSUL is considered state property and thus giving away or selling of that material is restricted by University Policy. In this process, we work with OSU Surplus to sell the books on behalf of Oregon State University, and with Recycling to sustainably recycle the print journals and other materials that can't be sold.

Electronic content that is not owned by the library is removed from the catalog when a license is canceled or expires.

The Oregon regional agreement and federal guidelines include guidance on replacing superseded material, transferring materials between institutions, and disposal of government document materials. Government documents removed from the collection are recycled according to these agreements. More information is linked below.

Policy Information

This policy was last reviewed June 2022.