Susan Swiatosz

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When it comes to collection reappraisal or deaccessioning, rare book or non-circulating research collections are often overlooked 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 a rare books collection and created collecting criteria to aid in the disposition of rare and non-circulating books. Although lack of space was clearly a pressing issue, the rare and non-circulating book collection at UNF lacked development guidance for many years, becoming unwieldy and no longer supporting the Special Collections mission. 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 using several of Kondo’s techniques, which led to clearer collecting guidelines for library staff and donors, and a more focused collection of books that support research on regional and local topics. In addition, valuable storage space was freed for books and manuscript collections fitting the collecting guidelines.


Published in Society of Florida Archivists Journal Vol. 4, No. 1 December 2023 (

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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