​Retention and Withdrawal Policy

1.1 - The Policy​

The Policy describes and defines the methods of disposal of library materials and donations from LINC Tasmania collections together with the types of materials available for disposal by sale or other means.

All disposals are made in the name of the Crown and are intended to achieve the best return for Government and for the community. All disposals are in accordance with Treasury Instructions. The Policy supports an equitable and transparent disposal model and describes the methods of disposal to be employed.

1.2 - The Scope of the Policy

LINC Tasmania is a member of National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA), a collaborative organisation representing the interests of state and territory libraries and the national libraries of Australia and New Zealand. 

LINC Tasmania is a participant in several NSLA collaborative initiatives including the Re-Imagining Library Services Strategic Plan, released in July 2008. The Re-imagining Libraries project sets an agenda which responds to the changing needs and expectations of clients in the 21st century. Re-imagining Libraries seeks to create innovation in building collaborative collections, collection access and service delivery to clients.

The Re-imagining Libraries project Collaborative Collections will have a significant impact on the way that the collections are built, preserved and managed including identifying the materials marked for removal from the collections.  This Policy reflects the aims and values of the Collaborative Collections Project.

This Policy defines the means of disposal of library materials from both the lending and reference collections together with the closed access or stack collections that support the statewide lending and reference services.

Exceptions to the Policy

Tasmanian material is highly valued by LINC Tasmania and is rarely removed from the statewide lending collection or city and branch library local studies collections.

The collections of the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO) are outside the scope of the policy. TAHO is responsible for the collection, management and preservation of Tasmania's documentary heritage. Materials published in Tasmania and acquired under the legal deposit requirements of the Libraries Act 1984 form a substantial component of the TAHO collections together with purchased and donated materials and those acquired by bequest.

Bequeathed or donated items with specific conditions which apply to their retention are outside the scope of this policy.

2 - Collection maintenance

The statewide collections are built and actively managed by two processes:

  • the acquisition of materials as defined in the Lending and Reference Collection Development Policies; and
  • the deselection of aged and obsolete materials as defined in this Policy.

  • An important role of the Policies is to define the types of materials that clients may expect to find in library collections. The Policies also document the pivotal support role of the Reference and Online Services Collections in providing information to library clients.

    Material that is removed from the collection is replaced with newly published items in print format and increasingly by electronic information. 

    The deselection program targets items (including donated material):

  • in poor physical condition;
  • that are no longer required by clients;
  • that are out-of-date, superseded, contain misleading information and are no longer useful for today's needs;
  • of which duplicate copies are held across the statewide collections;
  • that do not comply with endorsed Collection Development Policies;
  • that are unnecessary and un-used duplicates of titles held in other national collections which are readily available through the Document Delivery service;
  • which have been replaced by freely available electronic resources.

Overall, the collection maintenance program ensures that the collections are relevant, current and attractive with the capacity to meet the changing needs and interests of library clients.

2.1 - Our Mission

LINC Tasmania actively promotes the cultural, economic, and social development and well-being of Tasmanians by providing access to knowledge, information, and creative literature.

In adding to our collections we aim to provide a balance of resources that:

  • support Tasmanians in their pursuit of learning, information or self-development;
  • facilitate learning and the development of multiple literacies;
  • stimulate the imagination;
  • cover all aspects of knowledge, including contemporary and controversial issues; and
  • contribute to informed debate by embracing a range of views, opinions, ideas and beliefs.

    LINC Tasmania's collection management processes reflect this commitment.

2.2 - The Collecting Policy

LINC Tasmania collects items across a wide range of subject areas for the lending and reference collections. In order to support clients in their information and literacy needs, every effort is made to ensure that items selected:

  • are current, authoritative and well written;
  • provide a wide range of materials that represent a variety of views and opinions, and including controversial works, in both print and non-print sources; and
  • provide materials which reflect the heritage of local communities.

Items are purchased in accordance with the Lending and Reference Collection Development Policies which support the LINC Tasmania Mission.

2.3 - The Collection Management Strategy

Lending and reference items remain on open access until such time as the appeal, relevance and sustained usage of the item declines. At this time, a review process overseen by professional staff evaluates the item with particular attention to:

  • the retrieval rates;
  • the currency of the information; and
  • the enduring value of the item to the collections with particular attention to national and local policies and principles.

All items identified for disposal from the public and non-public collections are reviewed and approved for disposal by experienced staff based at the service point.

Removal from the collection is achieved by:

  • transferring the item to a closed access or stack collection; or
  • repatriation to local or mainland State Libraries in accordance with the Re-imagining Libraries programs, and especially within the Collaborative Collections project; or
  • disposal by donation, gifting, sale or recycling.

Donating or gifting items is acknowledged as a valuable way of achieving 'second use' of unwanted library materials. LINC Tasmania partners with Rotary International's Donations in Kind program by donating unwanted library materials to assist under-resourced public and school libraries in developing countries. These donations will assist in building basic reference collections and improving their lending stock. Rotary will also accept requests from Tasmanian community organisations for suitable material.

Not all items removed from the collection are donated or sold. Damaged items and fragile format non-book materials are non-saleable and are disposed of in accordance with Treasury Instructions. Some items are lost whilst on loan to clients and are managed through the organisation's billing system. 

3 - Methods of disposal

In the interests of maximising the 'second use' of withdrawn items the following methods are employed to remove these items from the collection:

Repatriation: LINC Tasmania may offer and repatriate withdrawn publications to other institutions. As part of the Re-imagining Libraries agenda, LINC Tasmania will work cooperatively with other libraries to rationalise duplicate holdings of low use items.

Literacy Programs: Literacy tutors are invited to select suitable items for their clients.

Donation: LINC Tasmania may opt to donate either purchased or gift materials to other institutions and organisations, generally with an educational or cultural focus. The Memorandum of Understanding between LINC Tasmania and Rotary ensures the effective dispersal and 'second 'use of the bulk of unwanted library materials to assist under-resourced public and school libraries in developing countries.

Sale: LINC Tasmania will offer suitable material to the public through in-library booksales or through public auctions where appropriate.

Recycling: Materials with no 'second use' value or damaged beyond repair and that comply with industry guidelines may be recycled or disposed of according to Treasury guidelines.

3.1 - Client requests to purchase deselected items

The Library has insufficient resources to notify clients when particular items are being withdrawn from the collection. However, staff members are able to assist clients in locating a range of new and out-of-print titles from commercial outlets.

The only circumstances in which a client may retain a specific item from the collection are:

  • when the item is lost whilst on loan to the client where the client has paid the replacement and processing fees, and the item is later found; and
  • when the item is returned in a damaged condition that warrants immediate removal from the collection. In this instance, the client is charged for the replacement cost of the item plus an addition processing fee and is entitled to keep the damaged item.

3.2 - Relationship to other disposal regulations

All disposals are managed within the parameters of:

Treasury Instructions 1301 – Disposal of Goods - Overview