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Rare book or non-circulating research collections are often overlooked when it comes to collection reappraisal or deaccessioning, that is until space considerations bring the issue to the forefront. After all, no librarian likes discarding books, particularly historic ones. This case study shows how the Special Collections and University Archives at the University of North Florida reappraised their rare book collection and created collecting criteria to aid them in the disposition of rare and non-circulating books. Although the lack of space was clearly a priority, the rare and non-circulating book collection at UNF had lacked collection development guidance for many years, had become unwieldy, and no longer supported the missions of the library or Special Collections. Inspired by Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the new Head of Special Collections and University Archives worked with library administration and created an ad hoc committee in the library to assist with reappraising the collection. The committee helped develop collecting criteria and a flow chart using several of Kondo’s techniques, which led to clearer collecting guidelines for library staff and donors, and to a focused collection of books that support research on regional and local topics.


Presented at the Society of Florida Archivists 2022 Annual Meeting May 12, 2020 in Orlando, FL

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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In Copyright