Weeding

Collection Maintenance Policy

The Library recognizes its responsibility to support the university's institutional objectives, academic programs, and research interests as funds, availability of materials, and space in which to house the collection permit. The university offers a range of undergraduate liberal arts programs in the arts and sciences, professional programs in teacher preparation and business, and selected related graduate programs, most at the Master's level. Library holdings in particular subjects vary in depth and breadth as the scope of local programs and usefulness of historical materials make appropriate. The lLbrary has developed extensive collections in a number of disciplines over time. In shaping the local collection, anticipated as well as current needs are considered as much as possible.

In weeding materials, bibliographers consider the following: circulation patterns and evidence of in-house use; published library standards and accreditation requirements for particular disciplines; the place of individual titles or categories of titles in the collective literature of a discipline; strengths and weaknesses of local holdings as identified through collection assessments; and the potential implications for future interlibrary loan demands  of withdrawing particular categories of material. The following general guidelines apply to weeding the library collection:

1. Missing items are withdrawn from the collection. Those in poor physical condition that cannot be repaired may be withdrawn, placed in custom-made boxes, stored while ongoing need is assessed, or housed in a limited-access collection. Replacements or new editions of damaged or missing items may be purchased or sought on the out-of-print market at the bibliographer's discretion; changes in format are made as necessary or advisable.

2. Added copies are removed from the collection as use patterns dictate. Ordinarily, no more than two copies of a title are retained.

3. Ordinarily, only the most recent edition of a title is retained in the collection. However, use patterns in some disciplines may make it advisable to retain a series of editions for comparative and research purposes.

4. In disciplines such as computer science, where the currency or timeliness of information is critical, outdated materials frequently will be withdrawn. Titles that provide examples of particular theories or schools of thought may be retained for their historical value and ongoing interest. Outdated material will be weeded selectively, particularly when the work has ongoing reference value and the Library owns a long run of the title.

5. Material which does not support university curricula or research interests and which is outdated, superseded, inaccurate, or damaged will be given special consideration in the review and deselection process.

Withdrawn materials in good condition that have some continuing value may be transferred on request to other campus departments and offices or sent to other approved state agencies. No materials are withdrawn to individuals.

Rev’d July 30, 2004; October 2009