Library Weeding


Zanin-Yost, Alessia and Katy Ginanni
Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal), Paper 11322014
This article explains the collaborative undertaking of the arts liaison and the collection development librarian in weeding the fine art print collection at Western Caroline University.
Snyder, Cynthia Ehret
Collection Management, V39, Issue 1. p17-31.2014
Rules-based weeding, based on multipoint data, enables librarians to make better-informed choices about the collection. Using a decision support tool forced Olin librarians to make weeding decisions based on multiple data points such as rarity, statewide repository candidates, or inclusion on recommended lists for college libraries.
Wesleyan University LibraryLast Updated: July 31, 2014
Wesleyan University Library's weeding project blog. Updates and more on the project.
Murphy, Elizabeth
New Review of Academic Librarianship, V19, Issue 3. p256-273.2013
This article discusses an assessment and deselection project of the modern print book collections in the John Paul II Library, National University of Ireland Maynooth.
Way, Doug and Julie Garrison
College & Research Libraries News, V74, N6. p284-287.June 2013
This article discusses a project at Grand Valley State University to implement a "Disapproval Plan."
Gillies, Scott and Carol Stephenson
Collection Management 37 (3-4) (2012): 205-2222012
This article outlines three specific collaborative weeding projects: monographs, science/technology/medical journals, and a JSTOR journals last copy project.
University of North AlabamaLast Updated: August 22, 2012
University of North Alabama weeding project blog. Updates and more on the project.
Milwaukee School of Engineering - Library Web SiteLast Updated: May 2012
Rationale for weeding; withdrawal candidate lists; and list of permanently removed books.
UCI Libraries
University of California Irvine Web SiteLast Updated: Apr 27, 2012
A LibGuide with information about UCI's "year-round" weeding program. Contains explanations and detailed procedural and policy information.
Hicks, Justin
Central Michigan LifeJanuary 19, 2012
Campus paper interviews library dean, who focuses on all the new materials acquired to explain the need to weed.
Tinker, LaShawntay M.
Smithsonian Digital LibrarySeptember 2, 2011
Warmke, Rachel
Quad Cities OnlineJune 14, 2011
Soma, Amy K. and Lisa M. Sjober
Collection Management 36(1) (2010): 17-282010
This article focuses on using collaboration to develop and implement a comprehensive and systematic approach to weeding in a small academic library.
Nikkel, T. and L. Belway
Collection Management 34(3) (2009): 194-2082009
Cox, Janice. E. and Barbara A. Gushrowski
Journal of Hospital Librarianship 8(3) (2008): 352-3572008
This article summarizes the rationale, resources, and process used by Indiana University School of Dentistry Library (IUSDL) staff to undertake a comprehensive book collection intervention (a.k.a. book weeding project).
Gushrowski, B. A.
Against the Grain 19(3) (2007): 26, 28, 30, 322007
Washington and Lee University Web SiteLast Updated: February 26, 2007
Greene, M.A.
Archival Issues 30(1) (2006): 7-222006
This article postulates that our profession's reluctance to confront reappraisal and deaxccessioning is both theoretical and practical, but that on both counts, we have inadvertently weakened our repositories and our professional standing by our unwillingness and lack of action.
Bryant, Darcel A.
Journal of the Medical Library Association. 92(2)(2004):251-2562004
Note the section on "Deciding what to move".
Williams, Pauline C. and Brent N. Halvonik
College & Undergraduate Libraries 11(2) (2004): 103-1272004
Tobia, Rajia C.
Journal of the Medical Library Association 90(1) (2002): 94-98
This article describes the experiences of one academic health sciences library and its comprehensive weeding project.



Lugg, Rick
Sample and Hold (blog)September 2011
The first of two blog posts which look at the costs and benefits of selling withdrawn titles.
Lugg, Rick
Sample and Hold (blog)September 2011
The second of two blog posts which look at the costs and benefits of selling withdrawn titles.
Lugg, Rick
Sample and Hold (blog)April 2011
Lugg, Rick
Sample and Hold (blog)November 2010
This blog post addresses the sensitive business of discarding books on-campus.
Holley, Robert
ALCTS Webinar (YouTube)October 27, 2010
An ALCTS webcast, 1 hour 6 minutes.

Resources Web Pages
Library Success Best Practices WikiLast Updated: January 3, 2012
PB Works WikisLast Updated: July 7, 2011
American Library Association
Delicious bookmarking service

Vendor /Program Web Sites

Alibris Web Site
American Mathematical Society (AMS)
AMS Web Site
Better World Books
Better World Books Web Site
Bookfriends International Web Site
Kirtas Books Web Site Web Site
"Finding Homes for Chem/Sci/Tech Books"


Lugg, Rick
SCS InsightNovember 19, 2013
Lugg, Rick
Sample and Hold (blog)May 2012
Wesleyan University LibraryLast Updated: February 9, 2012
Part of the WesWeeding Blog which focuses on campus discussions around weeding.
Metz, Paul, and Caryl Gray
Journal of Academic Librarianship 31(3) (2005): 273-2792005
Although many librarians placated the concerns of their faculty by informally describing the process to them, all library staff were repeatedly encouraged to refer questions and criticism to the director of collection development
Simmonds, Patience L. and Jane L. Ingold
The Reference Librarian 36(No. 75/76), p 55-562002
Seeks to differentiate between problem issues and problem patrons


Levin, Sam
East Bay ExpressMarch 12, 2014
"Library administrators are discarding older books in bulk, prompting a backlash from longtime staff members."
Batte, A.
WesleyingApril 2, 2012
Wesleyan University
Davis, S. Peter
Cracked.comOctober 11, 2011
Wilding, Michael
Quadrant Online LV (7-8)July -August 2011
Tracy, Carla
The Chronicle of Higher EducationJuly 25, 2011
Augustana College, Illinois
Pearce, Gary
The DRUMMay 25, 2011
Narushima, Yuko
The Sidney Morning HeraldMay 12, 2011
Focused on the Fischer Library at Sydney University.
Narushima, Yuko
The Sydney Morning HeraldMarch 8, 2011
This article begins, "The University of New South Wales is throwing away thousands of books and scholarly journals as part of a policy that critics say is turning its library into a Starbucks."
Yonkof, Frank at Kent State UniversitySeptmber 22, 2010
Neutral campus newspaper article about library renovations and the need to move books to storage.
Howard, Jennifer
The Chronicle of Higher EducationNovember 12, 2009
Carlson, Scott
The Chronicle of Higher EducationSeptember 1, 2006


FacebookSeptember 22, 2014
This Facebook page was created to "save the books of Albany Library and other Alameda County Library branches from reckless weeding." It includes links to resources and news regarding community opposition to weeding activities within this system.
Annoyed Librarian (blog)
Library JournalMarch 13, 2014
Reflections on "what it is about book weeding that gets library patrons so panicked?"
Raphael, Laura
In the Library with the Leadpipe (blog)July 24, 2013
Weeding a library collection, while an absolutely essential part of collection management, is a much more complex issue than library literature—and library practitioners—would like to admit. It is not just an intellectual and physical process but an emotional one, wedded to deep psychological, cultural, and even metaphysical issues. This article explores some of the reasons why weeding can be so heartbreaking, difficult, and miserable.
Holmes, Linda
National Public RadioOctober 12, 2011
Responds to S. Peter Davis' article "6 Reasons We're in Another Book Burning Period in History."
Goldberg, Julie
Perfect Whole (blog)May 16, 2011
"I am a librarian but no longer a bibliophile."
Garabedian, Mike (narrator)
Whittier College, Whittier, CA.March 25, 2011
A description of the current state of the book collection at Wardman Library, Whittier College; and the plan to rebuild subject area collections in the stacks over the next several years.
Maskell, Cathy et al.
The Journal of Academic Librarianship 36 (2010): 242–2492010
Surveys library directors in the Ontario Council of University Libraries consortium regarding weeding, last copy print archiving, and the role of the consortium. Responses reveal divergent opinions but an answer lies in partnerships. Cost remains an over-riding factor and the uncertainty of future budgets make commitment to long-term planning difficult.
Booth, Andrew
Health Information & Libraries Journal 26(2) (2009): 161–1652009
Gast, Michael
San Diego Mesa College2009
San Diego Mesa College Librarian Devin Milner shares his thoughts on weeding. (Humor)
Brabazon, T.
Libri 52(1) (2002): 28-352002
This paper investigates the debates encircling Nicholson Baker's "Double Fold: libraries and the assault on paper."
Baker, Nicholson
New York: Random House2001
Pleads the case for saving newspapers and books so they can continue to be read in their original forms.


University of Guelph Library Web SiteJuly 2006
University of Kansas Medical Center
Indiana State Library Web Site
Larmore, Dustin
Dakota State UniversityMay 23, 2003
OPAL Reference Committee
Ohio Private Academic LibrariesSeptember 2003
Pepperdine University Libraries Web Site
Rutgers Universities Libraries Web SiteLast Updated: January 5, 2011
University of California SRLF Web Site Revised: May 29, 2003
Stony Brook University Libraries Web Site
University of California Santa Cruz Library Web Site December 2007
University of Dayton Libraries Web SiteFebruary 21, 2006
Washington and Lee University Library Web SiteRevised: April 2010


Engeldinger, Eugene A.
College & Undergraduate Libraries 6(1): 46-51.1999
College libraries are not research libraries; hence, college librarians would do well to abandon the notion that size has some relationship to value, to see decay in the stacks as a useful ally, and to use it to weed and improve overall collection quality.
Farber, Evan
Library Issues: Briefings for Faculty and Administrators 19(2) (1998): 1-31998
Slote, Stanley J.
Englewood: Libraries Unlimited1997
Bushing, M. and E. Peterson
Advances in Collection Development and Resource Management 1
Greenwich: JAI Press, p. 61-781995
Reed, Lawrence L., and Rodney Erickson.
Library Acquisitions 17, (1993): 175-1811993
This approach to weeding an academic library collection combines recorded use, checking of lists and bibliographies, the expertise of librarians and faculty members, and accessibility to develop a model weeding procedure.
Bonk, Sharon and Sara Williams
Collection Management in Academic Libraries
Aldershot, England: Gower, p. 213-2341991
Lucker, J.K.
Science and Technology Libraries 6(3) (1986): 11-231986
Stueart, Robert D.
Collection Management VII (1985): 491985
An overview of the weeding process is presented along with a review of its nature, purpose, and proper functioning in a variety of environments.
Reed-Scott, Jutta
Collection Management 7(2) (1985): 59-671985
Streit, Samuel
Wilson Library Bulletin 56(9) (1982): 658-621982
Considers some important questions surrounding the deaccessioning of books and other materials from library collections: Should deaccessioned items be sold? How should materials for deaccessioning be selected? What are the channels for the sale of deaccessioned library materials?
Mosher, P.H.
Collection Development in Libraries: a Treatise, Part A.
Greenwich: JAI Press, (1980): 160-1611980
Turner, Stephen J.
College and Research Libraries 41(2) (1980): 134-1381980
Reviews Trueswell's weeding technique, introduces possible application areas, and addresses a number of popular misconceptions
Ash, Lee
Hamden: Archon Books1963
Report of a three year project directed by John H. Ottemiller, associate university librarian, under a grant from the Council on Library Resources.
Surrency, Erwin C.
Law Library Journal 50(6)1957
Temple University Law Librarian wrote that "most libraries have reached 95% or more of their total shelf capacity. … a solution to the problem must be sought by the library profession."


Rogers, Jennica
Jennica Rogers is the Director of Libraries at the State University of New York at Potsdam.
Fine Books & Collections. Durham, N.C.
Blog from the publishers of a quarterly print publication of the same name.
OCLC Research
"HangingTogether is a place where some of the staff at OCLC Research, particularly those of us who support the OCLC Research Library Partnership, can talk about the intersections we see happening between these different types of institutions."
"Advice to those who are new (or even not so new) to librarianship from someone who has been doing this work for a while now." Among the notable posts has been one titled Weeding is where it's at,
Among the notable posts has been one on Scoping Collective Collections.
Covers sustainable print collections and data-driven deselection.
"News and Updates on Deselection" from Sustainable Collection Services.


Lugg, Rick
Sample and Hold (blog)March - May 2011
This series of 10 blog posts takes a detailed look at activities that drive the cost of deselection. These include handling deselection metadata, reviewing candidate titles, and handling and processing withdrawn titles. In several cases, the cost impact of differing approaches is assessed.
Lugg, Rick
Sample and Hold (blog)November 2010
A detailed look at
Courant, Paul N. and Mathew "Buzzy" Nielson
Council of Library and Information Resources
The Idea of Order:Transforming Research Collections for the 21st Century, p. 91.2010
CLIR Publication 1472010
The authors conclude that a library bears an annual cost of $4.26 for each volume held in open stacks, and $1.99 per volume if that book spends part of its life in a high-density storage facility.
Marcum, J. W
The Bottom Line 21(1) (2008): 14-162008
New books get most of their use in the first two years on the shelf, as a rule. A book that is unused is “dead inventory” from the perspective of this argument.
Lawrence, Stephen R. et al.
College & Research Libraries News 62(6) (2001): 541-532001
While purchase costs are easy to identify, associated acquisition, cataloging, circulation, and maintenance expenses are difficult to measure and attribute to specific collections. Includes 23 references.
Ellsworth, Ralph E.
Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries and Scarecrow Press1969


Singer, C.A.
Reference & User Services Quarterly 47(3) (2008): 256-2642008
Liestman, Daniel
College & Undergraduate Libraries 8(1), (2001): 85
Majka, David R.
Reference Services Review 24(4) (1996): 67-751996
Joswick, Kathleen E. and John P. Stierman
Collection Management 18(1-2) (1993): 103-1151993
Harloe, Bart and H.M. Barber
The Reference Librarian 29 (1990): 159-1731990
Engeldinger, Eugene A.
Reference Librarian 29 (1990): 119-1281990
The University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire Library has collected data for five years; this data is used to show that even in well weeded collections, which previously depended upon subjective methods, empirical data will prove beneficial.
Vincent, S.F.
The Reference Librarian 29 (1990): 145-1571990
Experiences at Georgia State University.
Mathews, Eleanor and David A. Tyckoson
The Reference Librarian 29 (1990): 129-1431990
The authors believe weeding to be an integral part of the collection development program.
Pierce, S.J. (ed.)
New York: Haworth Press, 19951995
Engeldinger, Eugene A.
RQ, Journal of the Research and Adult Services Division, 25(3) (1986): 366-711986
Reports results of survey investigating aspects of weeding of materials in reference collections at 377 U.S. colleges and universities: existence of written policy or unwritten weeding practice; extent of weeding; frequency; what happens to discards; effect of shelf space, staff time, and use of materials on weeding decisions.


Lugg, Rick
SCS InsightOctober 22, 2013
"Because academic libraries have for decades not prioritized deselection and related tasks, work processes tend to be underdeveloped and are only partially supported by vendors. This is beginning to change. Out of necessity, we are inventing what I will call the 'library de-supply chain."
Lugg, Rick
Insights: the UKSG journal, V25, N2. p198-204.July 2012
This article describes the characteristics of a decision-support system that assembles deselection metadata and enables library-defined rules to generate lists of titles eligible for withdrawal, storage, or inclusion in shared print programs.
Zuber, Peter
American Society for Engineering Education / Engineering Libraries Division Annual Conference2012
PDF notes from the presentation are also available.
St. Petersburg College - Florida Library Association Conference2011
Johnston, Angus
School of Information Management · Te Kura Tiaki, Whakawhiti Kōrero: MLIS Research Papers2011
Johnson, Peggy
Chicago: American Library Association2009
Lugg, Rick and Ruth Fischer
Against the Grain 20(6)2009
Lugg, Rick and Ruth Fischer
Against the Grain 21 (1)2009
Larson, Jeanette
Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, TXLast Revised: 2008
Dubicki, E.
Collection Building 27(4): p. 132-1352008
The purpose of this paper is to provide librarians with an approach to weeding, which reduces librarians' fears and concerns of withdrawing books from an academic collection.
Lugg, Rick and Ruth Fischer
Against the Grain 20 (4) 2008
Handis, Michael
Collection Building 26 (3) (2007): 84-872007
Argues that weeding is appropriate in small, academic non-research libraries and discusses a methodology for approaching it.
Williams, R.
Collection Management, Edited by G. E. Gorman, 339-361
International Yearbook of Library and Information Management, 2000-20012000