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Weeding the Collection

In order to achieve a well-balanced, relevant and usable library collection that satisfies the current and future needs of Lamar State College-Orange, it becomes necessary to evaluate and assess consistently and systematically the library's collections. A fundamental part of maintaining such a collection requires that some material be taken out of that collection, based on the criteria specified in item two in the policy section of this document. This evaluative process is referred to as "weeding." Some specialized library materials are not included in this document. Journals/serials, audio/visual material, software and special collections material have needs and procedures unique to those formats or departments.

  1. A schedule for weeding will be determined by the director of library services in consultation with the division chairs or program directors and the collection development librarian for that discipline. A schedule for weeding will be determined on a semester by semester basis and may include summer sessions for material that does not require faculty/departmental input. An example would be material purchased for the reference collection. The following individuals will determine what needs to be weeded:
    • The librarian given responsibility for a particular subject area or discipline and/or the collection development librarian. See Collection Development Librarians.
    • An appointed faculty representative of a particular subject area or discipline. Faculty input is critical to the success of maintaining a viable library collection, and their input will be solicited and given full consideration.
    At completion of the weeding process, the director of library services will give final approval.
  2. Criteria for what will be weeded are based on at least one of the
    • Condition. Material that cannot be repaired and the area/discipline considers the item critical for the collection, every effort will be made to acquire a replacement.
    • Value to the collection. Factors may include access to material through abstracts and indexes, circulation records and/or existence of equipment in the library to make the title's information accessible. Obsolescence of the information can be a factor though the value of a book beyond the information content is also a consideration.
    • Historical references. Some materials may be determined to be important for historical references. Such material then can be designated as archival reference only and to be retained in the collection.
    • Duplication. Unless there is a determined need, such as circulation records, for more than a single copy at the time of weeding, the library's policy is to retain a single copy of any specific title or edition.

Procedure for Weeding

  1. The area to be weeded is determined, and the process begins. The librarian will pull items based on agreed upon guidelines. Once the book truck is filled with weeded titles, it will be taken to the tech services room on the second floor.
  2. The librarian who weeds the books will notify the affected academic department and library staff via e-mail. A copy will be sent to the appropriate chair/s and faculty library representatives. They will be asked to notify the entire faculty in their departments. Interested faculty will be directed to the tech services room where they should ask to view the books. The weeded books will be available for review during all hours that the library is open. The material will remain in the tech services room for two (2) weeks after the notice is sent to the department/s.
  3. After the two-week time period, the librarian who initially weeded the books will review faculty input and place all books to be weeded on a book truck.
  4. Books that the librarian determines should be kept are given to the tech services librarian to return to the circulating stacks. If there is any disagreement about whether a book should be retained or weeded at this point, the collection development librarian will be consulted. In such cases, the director of library services will make the final decision about the disposition of the books.
  5. At this point the items will be withdrawn from the catalog, and such items will be deleted from the collection for proper disposal.