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Policy on Requests to Withdraw Materials

This policy applies to occasions when the University of Washington Libraries receives requests to return, withdraw, destroy, or delete particular items that have already been acquired for the collection.

It is the policy of the UW Libraries that, barring exceptional legal or ethical circumstances, most requests to return, withdraw, destroy, or delete materials already in the collection will be refused in keeping with the Libraries’ commitment to preserve its collections, and the scholarly and cultural record. Some library collection materials are held under agreements that dictate retention for a specific period of time, return, withdrawal, or destruction of these materials; these commitments will be upheld.

Harmful language in catalog records and archival finding aids is addressed in the UW Libraries statement on Critical Cataloging and Archival Description, including our current practice on Remediating Harmful Language in Cataloging and Archival Description.

The final decision on whether to return, withdraw, destroy, or delete collection materials rests with the Dean of University Libraries, or their designee in consultation as needed with the UW Libraries Subject Librarian, the UW Libraries Cabinet, and the Office of the Attorney General.

Policy adopted: September 2022