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Materials Retention and Disposition Policy - Memorandum #30


All library materials are State property and, whether acquired by purchase from State-appropriated funds or other monies, or by gift exchange, they are subject to proper disposition. Although each library item in the General Libraries is not numbered in the University's physical inventory, matters of disposition are the responsibility of the University's chief business officer and are delegated through that officer to the Director of General Libraries. Within the General Libraries responsibility for disposition rests with the Deputy Assistant Director for Collections and Information Resources and, more specifically, with the Gifts Bibliographer and the Serials Bibliographer.

In disposing of library materials particular care is taken to protect the interests of the State and the interests of General Libraries' donors. The General Libraries observes Federal, State, Regental, and University regulations and maintains appropriate stastics on the disposition of materials.

Throughout the following text, the terms "materials," "library materials," and those relating to a specific type of material, such as "serials" and "newspapers" refer to non-rare materials. Section 1.3 covers rare library materials.

1.0 Selection of Materials for Disposition

All library materials, whether acquired through purchase, gift or exchange, are selected for addition to the collection according to the Collection Development Policy and other established guidelines. Gift materials not suitable for addition to the collection and materials that have been withdrawn are disposed of according to the following policies.

1.1 Cataloged Newspapers

The General Libraries does not, by policy, retain old newspapers indefinitely. Retention and discard decisions are based on usage patterns, size of the files, and storage space available. The exceptions are those newspapers relating to D or E collecting levels as defined in the Collection Development Policy.

Old newspapers that are to be discarded by the General Libraries may be given to University of Texas students or faculty only if the newspapers are clearly to be used for educational purposes. Requests for old newspapers are made in writing to the unit head, noting briefly the education purpose to be served. One-time requests for specific issues may be honored immediately. A unit head may impose a time limit on an agreement to hold newspapers for a requester.

Provision of old newspapers by the General Libraries does not constitute a continuing obligation or take the place of a subscription by the requester. Any agreement to provide newspapers may be nullified at the unit head's discretion if no requests for materials are made within two months. A letter to the requester nullifying the agreement may be sent by the unit head.

Because of personnel and space considerations, General Libraries staff will not notify requesters when a newspaper is to be discarded or delay discarding by "holding" newspapers for requesters when they have not picked up materials within a reasonable time.

1.2 Other Cataloged or Uncataloged Library Materials

Cataloged or uncataloged library materials designated "superseded," "surplus," or "duplicate" after careful review by one or more appropriate General Libraries subject bibliographers are discarded immediately or retained for future disposition. If retained, the materials are later disposed of as described in Sections 2.0 and 3.0.

The materials may be discarded if they are deemed unsuitable for sale or exchange. Such materials may include volumes in poor physical condition, books with outdated information, parts of sets, individual serial volumes, single periodical issues, or scattered periodical runs. Questions regarding potential sale value of unwanted materials should be directed to the Gifts or Serials bibliographer.

As a general rule, Gifts and Serials Bibliographers are responsible for discarding materials. However, when in situ uncataloged materials have been deemed unsuitable for sale, the branch or special collection bibliographers involved are responsible for discarding. When in situ withdrawn serials volumes are deemed unsuitable for sale, the branch or special collection bibliographers involved are responsible for discarding, following policy outlined in the Withdrawal Policy. Whether previously cataloged or uncataloged, the materials being discarded are torn or otherwise defaced, or have covers removed before being placed in the trash. Additionally, withdrawn materials are stamped "Withdrawn," desensitized, and the General Libraries University of Texas at Austin ownership stamps or bookplates are defaced.

1.3 Rare Library Materials

The disposition of materials designated as rare by General Libraries bibliographers follows routines for disposition as outlined in Regents' policies, recorded in the minutes of the Board of Regents' meetings, on the sale of duplicate rare volumes. See Appendix A for a copy of this policy.

Information on the disposition of these rare materials, along with sales proceeds, should be submitted by the head of the General Libraries unit from which the materials were disposed to the Deputy Assistant Director for Administrative Services. See Appendix B (pdf) for a copy of the annual report as it appears in the minutes of the Board of Regents' meeting for details on the information to be furnished. The Deputy Assistant Director for Administrative Services submits this report in early July for each year through the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs for placement on the docket of The University of Texas System Board of Regents' meeting in October under "Other Fiscal Matters."

2.0 Retention of Superseded, Surplus, and Duplicate Materials Selected for Disposition

Materials withdrawn or gift materials never added to the General Libraries collections that are not discarded immediately are maintained in the Surplus Collection, or, in the case of special collections materials in the Center for American History or the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, in onsite holding areas, before being disposed of according to the procedures outlined in 3.0 Disposition of Superseded, Surplus, and Duplicate Materials. The Surplus collection is maintained by the Gifts Bibliographer and the Serials Bibliographer. Materials in the Surplus Collection and in the onsite holding areas in the Center for American History and the Benson Latin American Collection may include the following:

2.1 Gift Materials Involving an IRS Form #8283

Gift materials received through a gift involving an Internal Revenue Service Form #8283 and declared "superseded," "surplus," or "duplicate" are placed in a timed holding area within the Surplus Collection or in a timed holding location in the special collection holding area, as appropriate, for two years before being considered for disposition routines described in 3.0 Disposition of Superseded, Surplus, and Duplicate Materials.

2.2 Other Gift Materials

Other gift materials declared "superseded," "surplus," or "duplicate" are placed in the Surplus Collection or in the special collection holding area as appropriate.

2.3 Withdrawn Materials

Materials withdrawn by bibliographers following the Withdrawal Policy are placed in the Surplus Collection or a special collection holding area as appropriate.

3.0 Disposition of Superseded, Surplus, and Duplicate Materials

The materials in the Surplus Collection and in special collections holding areas are disposed of on a regular, ongoing basis using the following procedures. Disposition procedures are followed in a timely manner usually involving the gift and/or sale of large numbers of items at a time.

3.1 Gift or Sale to Other UT System Institutions of Higher Education

Superseded, surplus, and duplicate materials, excluding selected serial issues to be exchanged, must first be offered to UT System institutions of higher education. These materials may be offered gratis or they may be sold. To accomplish this, the Director of General Libraries or the Director's designee will circulate descriptive summaries and/or make the materials available for viewing at a selected location. Information on the materials will include descriptions of the materials, price, and whether the material is offered as a group or by individual item. In all cases, to protect the interests of the General Libraries and the University, the General Libraries reserves the right to set the terms of such a sale or offering and to decline any or all offers of purchase.

A record will be maintained by the General Libraries of the total number of items given or sold to each institution, along with a precise accounting of the amount of any sale.

Once this requirement has been fulfilled, and if no UT System institution of higher education has agreed to purchase or accept the material, then the following options may be considered for disposition of the material.

3.2 Exchanges with Education Institutions

The General Libraries may offer surplus materials for exchange with other educational institutions. These exchanges of surplus items, many of which were received free of charge, allow the University to offer valuable materials to other institutions and in turn receive needed materials or credit toward future exchanges.

3.3 Sale to Dealers and/or Other Institutions

The General Libraries must be scrupulous in insuring not only the appearance but the reality of a free and open market process, through a system of competitive bidding, for disposition under this option. Descriptive summaries will be prepared and at least three letters sent to appropriate dealers and/or institutions soliciting bids (see Appendix C [pdf]). A designee of the Director of General Libraries will be responsible for compiling a list of appropriate dealers and/or institutions for library items that are offered. Specifications will include information on where the material can be viewed, the due date for the bid, and the person to contact for more information. The sale of an individual item costing $10,000 or more requires advance Regental approval. The successful bidder will be notified in writing. The bidder will be responsible for shipping arrangements and costs. The General Libraries retains the right to set a reserve price, explicitly or tacitly, and to reject any or all unacceptable bids.

Any dealer presenting a valid resale certificate will be exempt from paying state sales tax. See Appendix D (pdf) for a copy of the Texas Sales Tax Resale Certificate.

3.4 Trades with Dealers

General Libraries materials may be traded to dealers for other materials or for credit, subject to the following conditions: (1) the Director or the Director's designee has determined that the terms offered to the General Libraries are favorable and that the institution's best interests are served by trading materials rather than selling them to a dealer; (2) the entire transaction, including the amount offered in credit or the value of the materials being received and the fair-market value of the materials being traded, will be reviewed by a qualified third party, that is, an appraiser or other dealer, approved by the Director or the Director's designee; and (3) a final written record of the transaction, including the reviewer's report, will be submitted to the Associate Vice-President and Business Manager upon completion of the transaction.

3.5 Public Book Sales

Materials may be offered in a public sale. They may not be offered for private sale to University of Texas faculty or staff or other individuals.

Public sales are usually held over several days and are well publicized in advance to both the University and non-University community in Austin.

The total number of items sold is noted at the completion of each sale, along with a precise accounting of the amount of money collected.

3.6 Sale to Other Educational Institutions for a Nominal Price

Materials remaining after an offering to UT System institutions of higher education, to dealers, and/or in a public sale may be sold for what is usually a nominal price to other educational institutions.

3.7 Discard and Recycling

Materials remaining after option 3.1 Gift or Sale to Other UT Sytem Institutions of Higher Education has been pursued, along with one or more other disposition options (3.2 through 3.6) described above, may be discarded.

Whether previously cataloged or uncataloged, materials being discarded are torn or otherwise defaced or have covers removed before being placed in the trash. Additionally, withdrawn materials are stamped "Withdrawn," desensitized and University of Texas at Austin ownership stamps or bookplates are defaced.

A few appropriate materials may be offered for recycling.

4.0 Disposition of Funds Received from Sale of Materials

Proceeds from the sale of superseded, surplus, and duplicte General Libraries materials received through gift or purchased with State funds will go into a General Libraries designated account for the purchase of library materials.


Drafted by Carole Cable, in consultation with Kate Adams, Mary Brennan-Kerr, Donald Gibbs, Laura Gutiérrez-Witt, Stephen Littrell, Peggy Mueller, Terry Newman, Wayne Perryman, Fred Rothberger, John Womack, and the Collection Development Management Group, April 1993 - September 1994

Formally approved by Bobby G. Cook, Associate Vice President and Business Manager, on May 23, 1994, with revisions relating to rare materials approved September 20, 1994.

Approved by Harold Billings, Director, September 26, 1994


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