Collection Development Manual 2009
Circulating Collection Maintenance
General Weeding Policy
Reasons for Weeding
identify and withdraw incorrect or
outdated materials. Users are
dependent on us to provide up-to-date
information. Outdated medical, legal,
travel, tax and educational
information especially can cause
serious problems for our users.
To remove from the collection those
materials that are no longer being
used. If we kept every item we
bought we would probably need to
build a new library every ten years.
If the collection is full of
materials that are not being used,
our users cannot find the materials
that they do want. Since we add
approximately 11,000 items each
year, we should be withdrawing
somewhat less than that (taking into
account attrition from other
sources). Optimally, shelves should
not be more than 3/4 full, with the
top and bottom shelves empty as they
are hard to reach.
worn or damaged materials. Attractive,
clean materials are preferred by all users
and give the message that the library is a
modern, up-to-date source of information.
A well-maintained collection sends the
message that we expect users to treat our
materials with respect and return them in
the good condition in which they were
borrowed. Users appreciate a
well-maintained collection and are more
likely to support it with their tax
dollars than they would support a library
collection that looks like someone's old
attic. Popular worn titles should be
withdrawn and replaced with attractive
newer editions. Classics will circulate
heavily if they are clean and inviting.
circulation. Paradoxically, decreasing the
size of the collection often results in
increasing circulation. Users find it
difficult to find useful materials when
the collection is overcrowded with
outdated, unattractive, irrelevant
materials. Weeding makes the "good stuff"
more accessible. Death from overcrowding
is a common result of collections that are
not properly and regularly weeded.
The Weeding Process:
Identify items that are candidates for
Train shelvers to remove shabby, outdated
materials for consideration by the
Train menders to set aside poor candidates
for mending for consideration by the
professional weeder (replace if
Train shelvers to use printouts of items
not circulated in a certain amount of time
(generally 1-5 years) to remove items for
consideration by the professional weeder.
Where appropriate, shelvers will note if
there are other copies of the book, or
other books on the subject on the shelf.
Examine (as per the weeding guidelines
outlined in this manual) specific date
sensitive areas (business, investment,
science, medicine, law, technology, etc.
and weed those items whose information is
Weed subject areas where currency is less
urgent, less often, but still on a regular
basis, based on computer generated usage
statistics and condition.
Encourage all professional staff to be on
the alert for dated and superfluous
materials. Expect staff to make
suggestions for weeding and replacement on
a continuing basis, for all areas of the
collection, both print and nonprint.
Physically prepare items to be
Remove items from the database.
Order new and replacement titles as
October 01, 2012 Home URL: http://www.mhl.org/ Full URL: http://www.mhl.org/about/policies/cd/maintenance/ weeding.htm