It is necessary to weed books when they are in poor physical condition or if the subject matter is out of date and more recent books on that subject are available. It is the responsibility of the subject librarian to ensure that the collection is as current as possible using available financial resources.
The librarians should peruse the stacks periodically and pull books that are in poor physical condition. Likewise, when a book in poor physical condition is return to circulation, it should be sent to the reference staff for review.
For Damaged and Worn Books the Librarian Must Ascertain:
- Can the book be repaired in-house or by sending it to the bindery?
- If it cannot be repaired in-house, is there a more recent edition or a more current publication on the same subject available?
- If funds permit, the damaged book should be replaced with a newer copy.
- The damaged book is withdrawn from the collection and is then placed on the shelf outside the library for patrons to take.
For Outdated Books
- The subject librarians should regularly scan the reference stacks and circulating collection and make a list of old books that are candidates for withdrawal. In general this should be done yearly on or about June 1.
- For those books deemed to be outdated, the librarian should ascertain there are more current print or electronic books on that subject available for purchase or available for loan.
- The librarian should check the circulation statistics to see how often and how recently the book has been checked out.
- The list of candidates for withdrawal should be circulated to the appropriate academic department for review. Any faculty member has the right to recommend that a book be kept in the collection.
- The librarian should determine if the book considered a "classic" contribution to the field (and therefore, it would be retained)
- Is the book a second copy? Are there good reasons to retain multiple copies of a book? (e.g., class readings, etc.). Other questions may also be investigated.
Approved at the Librarian's Meeting on June 3, 2014