Physical Collection Reduction Project – AY2023-AY2025 

As outlined in our Collection Development Policy, Library Services collects and provides access to physical and digital materials in support of the University mission. The primary purpose of library collections at Minnesota State University, Mankato is to support the curriculum and research needs of the university. Given the size and scope of the University and the finite resources allocated to Library Services, we do not routinely keep all acquired materials.

Library Services is carefully and systematically reducing its physical collection to create additional student learning spaces and to address upcoming changes to the campus landscape. As the collection is reviewed and consolidated, we will continue to acquire new print and electronic materials to maintain relevant, responsive, and accessible collections. Students, faculty, staff and the community will continue to have access to resources that support the curriculum and research needs of the University. Library Services will provide regular updates about the project via the project website and campus newsletters. Library Faculty will also work with their liaison departments to communicate about the project.

Spring 2024 calendar for physical review

Directions for Review Process:

Directions for spreadsheet review

Directions for physical review of shelves

Questions about the project

Questions about the project can be sent to: or Library Administration, 507-389-5952

What does this mean for the physical collection?

  • Librarians have adopted a 20/10 threshold for this project. That means we have identified materials that have not been checked out in the past 20 years (this includes not pulled off the shelf, scanned, or reshelved), as well as those that have never been circulated and have been in the collection for 10 or more years for reduction.
  • During this project, the library will likely have empty shelves in parts of the collection.

Why are we doing this?

  • Memorial Library is an important component of our future campus plans. When Armstrong Hall is replaced with a building that has a smaller footprint, space in Memorial Library will help meet the classroom needs for the University.

Is this normal?

  • Deselection occurs regularly at all libraries, including within Memorial Library. Our current accelerated reduction plan follows appropriate professional protocols and responds to current Library & Learning and University goals.

What is the timeline?

  • A pilot project was completed in spring/summer 2023. We are beginning to work with academic departments in fall 2023. The project is expected to take two years to complete.

What happens to the books?

  • Materials disposal will follow Minnesota State procedures. This includes offering to campus departments, partnering with other Minnesota State Campuses, selling, disposal or recycling.

How can academic programs participate?

  • There will be opportunities for campus feedback on the deselection of resources.
  • Library Faculty will work with their liaison departments to communicate about the project.

During the process, will the library accept gift books?

  • We will not accept gift book donations for the General Collection for the duration of the project.
  • Special collections may accept gift materials during this time. Donating materials to Library Services Special Collections.
  • Visit Giving to the Library to learn more about how to support Library Services.