London Health Libraries


Guidance for disposal of periodicals


1. It is very important to know how your collection is used and what specialities you have within the organisation. Decisions must involve the whole team especially front line staff who deal with enquiries on a daily basis as well as processing document supply requests.


2. Look at statistics you have collected about the use of journals and evidence of journals surveys conducted.


3. The protocol:-

       Choose a date for cut off, such as the last 10 years. However, different dates may be appropriate for different journals. For example you might only wish to keep the last couple of years of weekly magazine type publications such as the Health Service Journal. You might need to keep longer back runs of important rare publications not held elsewhere in the region.

       Check what holdings are available on the London Health Libraries union list ( ) for that journal, especially by first resort libraries, and check whether you have the only run in the region. Offer what you have to libraries which might need to fill gaps.

       If you have a clinical speciality onsite then it is worth considering keeping relevant periodicals important to the field to show breadth of coverage.

       Check if the journal is freely available online, e.g. via Pubmed Central.

       Go through your stock and decide what is to be recycled or given away, and label as appropriate; e.g. keep from 2000; keep entire run; recycle entire run; offer to NWP or BHP etc. It helps when different people are working on the project at different times.

       Timescale - if doing a large cull in a short space of time, it is worth marking your library as red on the LHL catalogue until you have updated your holdings data and are ready to supply requests again.

       Work with your estates/facilities department to ensure you have a way of recycling or disposing of the material/getting it off site.


5. If you have decided to withdraw a print journal from stock please first notify other libraries within LENDS via the Londonlinks electronic discussion list:

This may influence the retention/withdrawal decisions of other libraries stocking the journal concerned. If the title (or part of the run) is not stocked by another participating library a message should be sent offering up the back runs. (If you are in the position of accepting a run of journals from another library, find out whether your trust has a contract with a taxi firm as a possible means of transportation.)


LENDS Committee (drawing on a previous document by Imrana Ghumra)

May 2014