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Library Policy Statements: Weeding

A listing of library policy and procedure statements.

Weeding Policy

Library Weeding Policy/Procedure


Weeding is the thorough and conscientious effort to achieve a well-balanced collection suitable to the patrons served, and should be a continuous, consistent process. By periodically weeding the collection, the library aims to remove materials that no longer effectively support the curriculum, its faculty or staff.


Before the library disposes of books, magazines, microforms or any other information resources, either by sale, exchange or any other means, it will carefully review those materials to be certain that they should not be retained for the library’s collection. Therefore, materials that are *MUSTIE - misleading, ugly, superseded, trivial, or can be found elsewhere - shall be systematically removed from the collection.

*Source: Larson, J. (2008). CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries. Austin, TX: Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Considerations for weeding of serials: make sure the size and growth of the collection meets the requirements of accrediting bodies of Bellevue University. If a whole run of a particular title is being considered for withdrawal, faculty members who have an interest in that discipline will be consulted.

Materials considered for weeding shall be evaluated on the following Criteria for Weeding and Criteria for Retaining. For specific instructions by collection, format and subject, please see the Guidelines for Weeding document.

Criteria for Weeding:

1.       Duplicate, Multi-Edition, and Low Usage Titles

a.       Older editions

b.      Duplicate titles for low circulation titles

c.       Superseded titles

d.      Low usage titles (consider publication date, number of times checked out, and last time circulated). In addition, see Guidelines for Weeding which sets limits on  based on subject


2.       Appearance and Condition

a.       Damaged beyond repair, including:

                                                               i.      Materials with highlighting, pen and/or pencil marks

                                                             ii.      Missing pages

                                                            iii.      Stained or molded pages

                                                           iv.      Brittle, yellowed pages


3.       Content/Curriculum Support

a.       Poorly written books

b.      Outdated information

c.       Incorrect information

d.      Donated books that do not support the curriculum

4.       Serials, criteria for weeding:

a.       Titles which are not indexed in indexing and abstracting services held by this library.

b.      Titles which have stopped publication and do not have cumulative indexes.

c.       Low usage

d.      Damaged beyond repair

e.      Print publications held in another format

f.        Stray issues


Criteria for Retaining:

For items retained, consider updating with newer editions if available, rebinding, repairing, or possibly limiting to in-house use only if needed.


1.       Irreplaceable titles and core works directly related to courses and programs regardless of condition.

2.       Heavily circulated materials; consider condition as well as the decision to purchase duplicate copies.

3.       Materials retained by faculty request; see catalog record for departmental request note.

4.       Limitations imposed by special grants, donations or faculty.

5.       Move older versions of reference type material (i.e., almanacs and yearbooks, encyclopedias, statistical sources, directories, atlases, dictionaries, biographies, indexes, APA style manuals, chronologies and surveys) into circulating collection if demand is warranted.

Discarding Procedures:

1.       Reference and Technical Services Librarians will systematically and periodically remove items from the shelves based on the aforementioned criteria.

2.       For materials obtained by departments where staff knows of faculty use, a list of titles will be sent to faculty for their review to weed and possibly update.

3.       The Technical Services Librarian will review all prospective weeded items; technical services staff will weed items.

4.       Weeded items in poor condition (i.e., damaged, highlighted, stained, etc.) will automatically be recycled.

5.       Weeded items in acceptable condition will be sold to the general public for a nominal cost at a bi-annual book sale. Items remaining from the book sale will be sent to a third-party book seller (i.e., Better World Books).

6.       Weeding of the entire collection (general and reference collection) should be done on a continuous basis focusing on single parts of the collection and subjects at a time. Older and superseded editions will be weeded as new ones arrive.

7.       Weeded items will be recorded for statistics as well as their value recorded for the business office (organized by accessioning fiscal year).

8.       Bound periodicals will be weeded if a microform format is purchased.

last updated: December 2011