Deselection Policy

To ensure that the collection continues to meet the diverse and changing needs of the community, the Library staff engages in continual evaluation to maintain a current and relevant collection. Harris County Public Library has established a set of criteria to determine when an item should be de-selected and removed from the system. The following criteria apply to all materials, including those that are gifts:

  • Damaged materials, or items that can no longer withstand public use
  • Material that provides out-of-date or inaccurate data
  • There is a newer, more complete, or authoritative resource available
  • Multiple copies of the item no longer meet the usage needs of the customers and staff
  • A more desirable format for the resource has been added to the collection
  • The item does not meet the current interest of the community

Materials will not be removed from the collection because of the personal views or beliefs of the staff or customers. Those with concerns regarding materials in the library's collection may complete the Request for Reconsideration of Materials Form as described in the Collection Policy.

Each branch is expected to maintain an average of 12 inches of empty shelf space on its circulating collection’s shelves. This helps house the collection during slower circulation periods and ensures that space is available for new items.

All items in the collection are County property and will be handled in accordance with County procedures. Items de-selected from the collection will be sent to the contracted vendor as per Section 11.3 of the Rules and Procedures of the Office of the Harris County Purchasing Agent, which states that items de-selected from the collection cannot be sold, donated, or disposed of in any other way.

(Last edited 04/07/2021)

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