When a library has a lot of books or when a library doesn't want the book for any reason, then they used to put a stamp with a label that says that these books are not already belong to the library, and the person which hold them, hold them or buy or sell it, do it honestly. But there are specific words which accepted in this field in my language, it's something like "out of use in x library" or "taken out of the x library.

Can I know what's the normal or parallel way in the library of English spoken countries to do this label, that I talked about?

6 Answers 6


I think you're looking for "removed from circulation".

Sometimes they will simply have a stamp that reads "withdrawn"

Ex-library books

Or "discarded"

Discarded text

Some libraries use much longer phrases:

Long phrase for removed from circulation

There's no one set phrase for this, though.

  • I think "library discards" would be what we call the books, but the label/stamp or other method of marking that probably varies. ala.org/tools/marking-discards says that "the library's markings should be augmented in some way so as to indicate that the item was withdrawn". I would assume if there was a well known word or phrase for that marking, the librarian answering the question would have used it.
    – ColleenV
    May 23, 2016 at 23:00

It really depends on the library. I've seen several ways this can be done from different libraries.

In our local (community) library, they cross out the bar code and in several places they stamp the phrase: "Sold to the public, and removed from [Library Name] collection". I've also seen some stamps that say "Discarded from library stock."

So, there isn't a universal way that this is done. In many cases, books get sold in batches and no stamp is ever made on the book.


Books that a library does not want to keep in its system are, in the USA, called discards are are usually stamped DISCARD or maybe WITHDRAWN. You can see some images here.

The process of withdrawing a book from circulation is described here at Making Discards (American Library Association).

The nomenclature may differ in other English speaking countries.


I believe the phrase you're looking for is "out of circulation". If a book is in the library system, (checked out, or available to be checked out) it is "in circulation". If, for whatever reason, it isn't, it is "out of circulation".

I can't think of it being used as a stamp though.

Edit: As far as a stamp explicitly saying a book no longer belongs to a library, I don't recall ever seeing one (I'm not saying they don't exist though). When I was a kid I had lots of former library books, most of which still had the "Property of X Public Library" stamp, although sometimes that stamp was crossed out in black marker.

  • 2
    I don't think the poster means "out of circulation", I think he's referring to something like a label that a library puts on a book to indicate that they've sold it. But it's hard to be sure.
    – stangdon
    May 23, 2016 at 18:10
  • 2
    You're right, that's what I mean exactly. But I'll upvote her answer for the trying to help:) May 23, 2016 at 19:34
  • I need to downvote as "out of circulation" is not a general term to use when weeding.
    – shin
    May 24, 2016 at 3:36

Just to add another perspective, 'discarded' and 'withdrawn' are possible labels to use, and "weeding" is the process. It is one of the vital processes in collection development.

'Discarded' books are usually sold or donated, while 'withdrawn' books are usually placed in a separate warehouse as they may have historical value (or something to that effect). (I am speaking in a general sense, some libraries have their own term definitions for such)

I won't use "out of circulation" as it may also imply that the book is for room use only (i.e., it [the book] could be a part of some special collection.)

I worked as a volunteer librarian long ago.


The term in question is "deaccession."

  • 3
    That's an nteresting one. Do you have any more information to back that up?
    – Chenmunka
    Nov 17, 2016 at 16:18
  • That's the term for removing an object from a collection, or the act of removing it, and not a term for the books or the label they get.
    – ColleenV
    Nov 17, 2016 at 16:43

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