Weeding is the active discarding or transferring to storage of unneeded library items. It is not simply the passive withdrawal of the records of lost books or the withdrawal of books so damaged that they are no longer usable.
Books that do not support the mission of the university and do not fit into the library's collection development policy should be removed from the library in order to maintain a current, active and useful collection which reflects the goals of the library. According to Standards for College Libraries, 1995, "no title should be retained for which a clear purpose is not evident in terms of academic programs or extracurricular enrichment."
Weeding needs to be an integral function of the Library in order to:
A. Insure a relevant collection that supports Augusta State University's
B. Make active items more visible, attractive, and accessible
C. Make the most efficient use of existing, limited space and create shelf space for new additions to the collection
D. Enable library staff to service the collection efficiently.
The following materials should be candidates for weeding:
A. Items that are inappropriate to the mission of the university
B. Monographs not cataloged in the library catalog
C. Items that have not been used in the past ten years (Past use is the best predictor of future use, so circulation records should be checked when possible.)
D. Badly worn or mutilated materials (If these are important to the collection, they should be mended or replaced.)
E. Superseded editions
F. Duplicated copies of seldom used items
G. Serials for which we have no available index access
H. Periodical bound volumes of which the library also owns microform
I. Short broken runs of outdated periodicals
J. Unsolicited and unwanted gifts
K. Obsolete materials (especially important in the areas of science and technology)
L. Items not relevant to the current or anticipated curriculum.
IV. Intellectual Freedom
In accordance with the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, the following policy should guide weeding:
"Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval."
. Responsibilities for Weeding
Weeding takes skill, care, time, and knowledge of the library materials. Weeding at Reese Library should be coordinated by the Associate Director The coordinator should consult with all faculty, especially the professional librarians. Faculty members and other subject specialists can assure that materials of historical or research interest are not inadvertently removed.
VI. Schedule for Weeding
Weeding is an essential on-going library routine and should not be done only in during periods of crisis. However, special weeding projects need to be undertaken when necessary.