Weeding is the removal of materials from the library collection that are no longer needed or viable and is a standard practice in managing a library’s collection. Weeding is important in keeping a collection vibrant, relevant, and useable. It assists in preventing stacks from becoming overcrowded. It makes remaining materials more visible and accessible.
The Library may, at its sole discretion, remove and withdraw monographs and any other materials (e.g., non-book print items, manuscript materials, electronic resources, magnetic media, photographs, and motion picture film) based on the criteria set forth in its Collection Development Policy.
Each subject specialist shall review, evaluate and weed his/her collection areas on a regular basis, using the following guidelines:
· Frequency of use. Circulation and other statistics may be examined. Items that are not in demand may be eligible for weeding.
· Curriculum needs in the subject specialist’s area(s).
· Currency of information contained in an item. The importance of this factor will vary with the discipline.
· Existence of multiple copies of the same title and edition, especially of low use items. These may be weeded. However, the recognized importance of a work, edition, and author may encourage a decision for retaining.
· Superseded works, especially ones with little historical importance, may be weeded.
· Physical condition of an item or set. Materials that are badly deteriorated or missing key parts may be withdrawn at the discretion of the subject specialist. As a general guideline, items that will be discarded should not be rare or difficult to obtain from other libraries. Therefore, as alternatives to discarding, the subject specialist may opt to have material transferred to off-site storage or sent to the Preservation Department for treatment or facsimile reproduction. Rare materials may be transferred to the Dept. of Special Collections in accordance with that department’s acceptance criteria. Or damaged items may be replaced if they are available for purchase as new or used items in good condition.
· Materials available in other formats in the library or online may be weeded, especially when they are low use and not rare.
· Items with regional or special interest to our collections and users should not be weeded unless they are held in multiple copies.
Each Library subject specialist is also responsible for delivering weeded material to the Library technical service staff for appropriate attention, including the modification of cataloging records, transference of items, or needed preservation treatment.
Aside from the routine weeding described above, other weeding projects require the approval of the Associate Director for Collection Strategy and Management (ADCSM), who will review such projects and notify all relevant library units. The role of subject specialists in such projects will be determined by the ADCSM in consultation with them and other staff as necessary.
Materials which are withdrawn from the collection may be sold, donated, distributed, recycled, or discarded, at the Library’s sole discretion.