Withdrawal Policies and Procedures for Library Materials (Item in Hand)

To: Technical Services Staff
From: Joan Swanekamp
Date: (12/7/1994 creation date/ October 19, 2007 3:09 PM revision date)

This document establishes the policies and procedures to be followed regarding the withdrawal of library materials when the item is in hand, including materials acquired for staff use only. This document does NOT address the policies and procedures associated with the decision itself to withdraw materials.

These policies and procedures apply only to materials that have been fully accessioned and cataloged and require marking in order to be officially de-accessioned. These procedures do not apply to newspapers where the print issues are retained until the microfilm version has been accessioned, or to replaced pages of updating loose-leafs. For uncataloged gifts & exchanges, or errors that need to be deleted, suppressed, etc. for various reasons, refer to Section 2, items C.-F. of:

Policies for Suppression, Deletion, and Re-Use of Orbis Records.

For government depository program documents, refer to the Appendix at the end of this document.

For the withdrawal policies and procedures for missing and unreturned library materials (i.e., where the item to be withdrawn is not available for marking), refer to:

Withdrawal Policies and Procedures for Missing and Unreturned Library Materials (Item Not in Hand)

Note that the policies and procedures in this document do not apply to YUL virtual holdings of remote electronic resources, whether owned or licensed.

Consistently applied procedures are imperative; the Library must ensure that all withdrawn materials are clearly marked as such, so that there can be no question whether they had once been part of the Library collections. Library security personnel, upon inspection of material, must be able to distinguish legitimately withdrawn items, and procedures must be comprehensive enough that illegitimate attempts to mark items as withdrawn will be discovered. To this end, all withdrawn materials must demonstrate consistent and extensive markings to indicate that an item has been withdrawn and is no longer the property of the Yale University Library.

The procedures assume that a book, serial issue, or bound volume is being withdrawn. Other formats, such as direct access computer files (e.g. CD-ROMs), microform, scores, maps, etc. may also be withdrawn and, in such cases, all appropriate withdrawal steps must be followed in keeping with the principles stated in section 1.2.

The vast majority of withdrawn library materials will be marked according to the procedures outlined in section 2.1. If materials are rare or have significant re-sale value, units may follow the marking procedures outlined in section 2.2. Catalog maintenance for all materials withdrawn must be handled according to the procedures specified in section 3.0. Disposal of withdrawn materials is addressed in section 4.0.


1.1 The head of the unit maintaining the collection from which the item is withdrawn and the selector responsible for the withdrawal decision have primary responsibility for assuring that proper withdrawal procedures are followed. These individuals may delegate to other library units the responsibility for administering the process described below (e.g. Preservation Department).

1.2 The following procedures are designed to meet two principles:

  1. Clearly marking withdrawn items to indicate that they are no longer owned by the Yale University Library, and
  2. Maintaining a permanent record of previous ownership and withdrawal on Orbis.


NOTE: Password protected. Consult with your supervisor for username/password. For security reasons, do not use on a public workstation and always close browser after accessing this document. (Some browsers retain the password for the duration of the session.)


3.1 Withdrawing Unit Responsibilities

The unit initiating the withdrawal is responsible for updating the acquisitions record (if necessary), the item record, and the MFHD, and for notifying the Catalog Management Team (SML) if the item withdrawn is the last copy held by Yale.

Note that if the bibliographic record represents a cataloged resource overlooked by recon (e.g., the record is a circulation or in-process record that was not overlaid, or there is no record at all in Orbis), Catalog Management must be notified even if the item withdrawn is not the last copy. In that case, Catalog Management will create or upgrade the record, but the Withdrawing Unit will then be responsible for updating the item and MFHD records.

With Orbis being the catalog of record, removal of cards from local and union card catalogs is no longer performed.

a. Updating Orbis

Order record. Cancel the order and close the record if the copy is being withdrawn in its entirety and there is still an open order. Leave the record open if part of the copy is being withdrawn and there is still an open order.

For YUL Cancellation Procedures, refer to:



For a single part item being withdrawn, or for a multipart resource where all volumes are being withdrawn:

1. Change the location after the $b to withdrawn and insert $k Suppressed between $b and $h. The location $b withdrawn automatically suppresses the MFHD; the box for Suppress from OPAC under the MFHD System Tab does not need to be enabled. NOTE: in order for the Suppressed text to display in the Circulation module, some text must be retained in $h. Do not delete the original call number or the original text message (e.g. $h Shelved by title), even though the value in $h does not logically apply.

2. Following the call number, add the staff note: $x <location>: <reason>*, withdrawn <mm/yy>, <processing unit>/<initials>. The date should reflect the date of the MFHD update. Optionally, the reason for the withdrawal can be omitted if the reason is recorded in the Item Note field of the Item Record (Access Services practice).

  • The reason for withdrawal must be recorded. If an item record is not created for the withdrawn item, record the reason for withdrawal in 852 $x.
  • Recording withdrawn <mm/yy>, <processing unit>/<initials> in 852 $x is required in all cases.

*Take the text for the <reason> from the table in Part II, Section B. of the Circulation Procedures. (Item Record Withdrawal: Policies & Procedures )

Example 1. (Standard Procedure):

852 0 0 ‡b withdrawn ‡k Suppressed ‡h SH331.5 M48 ‡i N37 1979‡x ksl: Poor cond., discarded, withdrawn 09/04, sci/ds

Example 2. Optional procedure. Access Services leaves out the withdrawal explanation in $x because "Poor cond., discarded, withdrawn 09/04" has been recorded in the Item Note field of the item record.:

852 0 0 ‡b withdrawn ‡k Suppressed ‡h B4249.L384 ‡i A7713 1971 (LC) ‡x ccl: withdrawn 09/04, accserv/sm

With the exception of "withdrawn" notes [see $x example above], most circulation specific notes should now be entered in the item record according to the policies and procedures documented in the separate Circulation document. Technical services staff authorized to update both MFHD and item records may transfer legacy circulation notes in the MFHD to the item record. Cataloging staff who work primarily with the MFHD should leave legacy Circulation notes found in the MFHD $x as is and create a separate $x note to indicate the withdrawn status. If the library practice is not to create an item record, circulation specific notes should continue to be recorded in 852 $x.

MFHD: Multipart/Serial

For a multipart or continuing resource (serial) where only some volumes are being withdrawn,

1. Create a separate MFHD with location $b withdrawn and $k Suppressed. It is not necessary to enable Suppress on the MFHD System Tab. Since the $b withdrawn MFHD will function potentially as a "parking lot" for item records for multiple copies (i.e., volumes from multiple locations), do not enter a "real" call number in subfields $h and $i, since different locations may have different call numbers.

However, in order to display the $k Suppressed subfield in the Circulation module, enter $h withdrawn (without $i) in place of a call number in the "parking lot" MFHD's 852 field. Note that the text withdrawn will appear in both subfield $b and subfield $h in this situation only.

Since the "parking lot" MFHD will be used for item records for multiple copies, be sure to verify that the "parking lot" MFHD has not already been created.

If the withdrawn volume did not have an item record, do not create a "parking lot" MFHD; perform only step 3.

2. Relink the item records for the withdrawn volumes to the "parking lot" MFHD. Do not create volume holdings on the "parking lot" MFHD for the withdrawn volumes. (Separating the item records for the withdrawn volumes from the original MFHD is a workaround for problems with the Voyager OPAC display.)

3. In the staff note of the original MFHD, indicate which volumes have been withdrawn and the reason why (optionally, the reason may be recorded in the Item Note field if an item record already exists); delete the withdrawn volumes from the 866 volume holdings. Use a separate $x field for each withdrawal date.

4. If another copy of the set is held (i.e., there is another MFHD with volume holdings associated with the same bibliographic record), and volumes are withdrawn from the second (third, fourth, etc.) copy of the set,

  • relink the item records for the withdrawn volumes from the second copy MFHD to the "parking lot" MFHD
  • in the MFHD for the second copy, add a $x staff note indicating the volumes withdrawn and the reason (if the reason is not recorded in the item record).


Chemistry MFHD 852 updated with $x staff note to indicate volumes withdrawn.

852 8 1 ‡b chem ‡h Shelved alphabetically by title ‡x chem: v.3(1970)-v.6(1976) damaged, discarded, withdrawn 09/04, sci/cz
866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a v.7(1977)-v.21(1990),
866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a v.23(1991)-v.49(2003)

Kline MFHD 852 updated with two $x staff notes to indicate volumes withdrawn on different dates.

852 0 1 ‡b ksl ‡h QD1 ‡b .C444+ ‡m Oversize ‡x ksl: v.6(1976) mutilated, discarded, withdrawn 09/05, sci/cz ‡x ksl: v.47(2001) damaged, discarded, withdrawn 10/06, sci/bs
866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a v.7(1977)-v.46(2000),
866 4 1 ‡8 0 ‡a v.48(2002)-v.49(2003)

Item records for withdrawn chem volumes 3-6 and ksl volume 6 and 47 are relinked to the following MFHD:

852 8 0 ‡b withdrawn ‡k Suppressed ‡h withdrawn

Schematic listing of ENUM/CHRON data from the item records relinked to the MFHD above:

ENUM v.3 CHRON 1973 [relinked from chem]
ENUM v.4 CHRON 1974 [relinked from chem]
ENUM v.5 CHRON 1975 [relinked from chem]
ENUM v.6 CHRON 1976 [relinked from chem]
ENUM v.6 CHRON 1976 [relinked from ksl]
ENUM v.47 CHRON 2001 [relinked from ksl]

EXAMPLE. Item Record for Chem v.3(1973). Note that the original location is retained in the Perm Loc. field of the item record after the re-link and should be left as is.

MFHD volume holdings (866/867/868). If all volumes are being withdrawn, leave the volume holdings intact. If some volumes are being withdrawn, update the volume holdings to reflect current holdings. When editing volume holdings, the expectation is that the Library's standards for textual recording of volume holdings (based on ANSI/NISO Z39.71-1999) will be maintained. If there are questions about editing volume holdings, consult with Catalog Management staff. See RELATED DOCUMENTS for the YUL guidelines for recording serial and multipart volume holdings.

Item Record(s). Refer to: Item Record Withdrawal: Policies and Procedures

When withdrawing an item that does not have an item record, it is only necessary to create an item record without a barcode if there is a need to place a hold on the item (e.g. patron request), or to make an Item Note that cannot or will not go in a $x Staff Note in the MFHD.  For routine withdrawals of items without item records, such as sets, new item records are not required and do not need to be created.  Please consult the Circulation Document for further information.

Bibliographic Record. NEVER suppress the bibliographic record from public display. If there are no remaining active copies attached to the record, a message will automatically be generated in the OPAC that directs the catalog user to a "help" page. If all volumes are withdrawn for this particular copy and it was the last remaining active copy, make a printout of the bibliographic record and send it to the Catalog Management Librarian requesting that the record be deleted from RLIN and OCLC. Annotate the printout with the phrase "Delete from the utilities (withdrawn item)." Alternatively, you may use e-mail notification instead of sending a printout.

b. When to Notify Catalog Management Team (SML). Send a printout of the Orbis MFHD record to the Catalog Management Team (SML) only if the bibliographic record needs to be updated to cataloging standard, or in the rare cases where either circulation staff or the recon projects failed to create a record at all, or if the withdrawn copy represents the last copy held at Yale, with an appropriate explanation. (See 3.2 following)

If the record is very brief, include the author, full title, and publication date to ensure that the appropriate record update is performed.

3.2 Catalog Management Team (SML) Responsibilities

The Catalog Management Team (SML) is responsible for ensuring that all copies of the withdrawn item are represented by an appropriate record in Orbis and updating OCLC and RLIN as necessary. With Orbis being the catalog of record, removal of cards from local and union card catalogs is no longer performed.

a. Updating Orbis Perform retrospective conversion as necessary to ensure that all copies of the withdrawn item (including the withdrawn item), are represented by permanent catalog records in Orbis. The withdrawing unit is responsible for indicating withdrawn status according to the procedures described in 3.1.

b. Updating OCLC and RLIN If the withdrawn copy represents the last copy of the title held at Yale, update OCLC and RLIN to delete holdings.

4.0. Disposal Procedures

Units withdrawing materials from the collection must exercise their fiduciary responsibility to the University. They should make every reasonable effort to recover the residual value of the materials while ensuring that staff investment in the disposal process is minimized and that the materials are removed from valuable shelf space with all deliberate speed. For further discussion of these principles, see the Library document entitled "Disposition of Unneeded Library Materials":


4.1 Appropriate means of disposal include:

a. Exchange with or donation to other libraries or institutions.

b. Sale to legitimate book dealers.

c. Organized unit or library sale to the public.

d. Discard

  • For discards, follow unit-specific guidelines for physical disposal. If no specific disposal procedures exist, consult with the Associate University Librarian, Collection Development.
  • Library materials may be deposited in dumpsters only after being placed in sealed containers.

4.2 To avoid the appearance of conflict of interest, library staff shall not take possession of any discarded books.

Appendix. Government Depository Collection Documents

Documents from the following five collections are obtained through depository programs from each governmental body:

U.S. federal
Canadian federal
United Nations
European Union
Food and Agriculture Organization

The U.S. federal depository program explicitly states that "All Government publications supplied to depository libraries under the FDLP remain the property of the United States Government and may not be disposed of, except as outlined in Chapter 4 of these Instructions," i.e., Instructions to Depository Libraries, Chapter 4, Maintenance.

The other four programs do not state that depository publications remain the property of the originating governments

Withdrawals from U.S. and Canadian federal documents depository collections must first follow the procedures dictated by those depository programs.

For U.S. depository collection instructions see:


For Canadian depository collection instructions see:


Both programs require libraries withdrawing documents to offer the documents to other libraries; if documents are not claimed within a specified time frame, the library may dispose of them according to its own policies and procedures. Any withdrawn U.S. and Canadian federal documents that are not claimed by other libraries are to be disposed according to Yale Library policies and procedures, with the following exceptions: two categories of U.S. federal documents are allowed to be withdrawn and discarded without following the "offers" process – secondary copies and superseded publications, as described in Chapter 4 of Instructions to Depository Libraries.

Catalog Maintenance. Withdrawn documents from the Canadian, European Union, United Nations, and Food and Agriculture Organization should be treated according to the standard Yale Library policies and procedures. However, because U.S. federal documents always remain U.S. federal government property, the bibliographic records for withdrawn U.S. federal documents should be suppressed from the OPAC.


Withdrawal Policies and Procedures for Missing and Unreturned Materials (Item Not in Hand)

Policies for Suppression, Deletion, and Re-Use of Orbis Records <DRAFT>

Item Record Withdrawal: Policies and Procedures

Standards for Recording Serial Holdings in MFHD

Standards for Recording Serial Holdings in MFHD: Supplement

Multipart Monograph MFHD Guidelines

[TOC] | Cataloging at Yale | [Optional Link]

Copyright © 2007 Yale University Library
Examples require Arial Unicode MS font to be viewed correctly on web browser.
Draft rev. for Voyager, Christina Tabereaux, 2nd rev. S. Arakawa for CPDC
Contact: steven.arakawa@yale.edu
Last updated: October 19, 2007 3:09 PM
URL: http://www.library.yale.edu/cataloging/Orbis2Manual/withdrawOrb2ver3.htm