The general collections of the ISU Library include items in the Veterinary Medical Reading Room, the Library Storage Building, and Parks Library, excluding Special Collections and University Archives located on the fourth floor of Parks. 


Librarians build a robust and useful general collection through selection of materials aligned with ISU teaching and research. Gifts of physical material can supplement librarians’ work.


The size of the collection is evaluated regularly and “rightsized” to fit the size of our facilities. Rightsizing allows the library to

  • Ensure relevant material is easily found via physical browsing and online discovery
  • Create space for new arrivals
  • Balance the need for current and historical materials
  • Provide a good environment for physical material and avoid overcrowding

Rightsizing is an ongoing set of processes, with unique motivations and different goals. Data used in these decisions could include

  • Alignment with current ISU research and teaching
  • Use (checkouts)
  • Age of materials
  • Availability of new editions
  • Availability of online and/or open versions
  • Just-in-time availability
  • Input from subject librarians and stakeholders

Books removed from the collection that are in good condition are sent to ISU Surplus for public sale. We work with Environmental Health and Safety and Facilities Planning and Management to recycle and dispose of other material in an environmentally friendly way. Removal of U.S. federal documents follows Federal Depository Library Program procedures.

Lost or damaged material is reviewed by librarians.


If you have questions, please contact Robin N Sinn, Director, Collections & Open Strategies.