Weeding the Library Collection

Course Objectives:

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Under Subject Area Menu > Library Services > Technical Services > Weeding the Library Collection

Mention collection development and most librarians think of the selection of new materials for the library. Weeding - removing library materials from your collection - is an often forgotten, yet integral part of collection development. In this course you will first discover why that is true, and then learn the techniques of weeding, develop policies and avoid common pitfalls.

The information is relevant to all types of libraries and addresses the weeding of all types of library materials, including adult and children's collections, as well as print and non-print materials.

Learning Objectives

  • State the reasons for weeding the library collection.
  • Identify print and online resources to aid in planning an effective weeding program.
  • Adapt published weeding guidelines to develop criteria for weeding their collection.
  • Develop a weeding plan for the library which includes a schedule, criteria for specific subject areas and material types, and procedures.
  • Explain positive solutions to avoid common pitfalls and problems with weeding such as "unweedable" gifts, "sacred" memorial donations, the "recommended collection size" trap, fear of admitting a selection error, and others.
  • Incorporate weeding in the library's collection management policy.
  • Identify tools associated with automated library catalogs that can assist in weeding such as inventory reports, collection age reports, and others.