Library Policies and Procedures: Weeding Policy
Dalton State College
Derrell C. Roberts Library
Weeding is an essential, continuous component of collection maintenance in libraries. Permanently removing materials for reasons such as being outdated, unused or damaged from the Derrell C. Roberts library ensures the collections’ health and viability. Weeding maximizes collections’ usefulness, and ensures that they continue to support the instructional and research requirements of students, faculty, and staff at Dalton State College. In addition, the process frees shelf space for newly acquired materials. The Collection Development Policy guides weeding decisions, in keeping with the library’s mission to collect, organize, and provide access to information resources.
Responsibility for Weeding
Final responsibility for weeding materials from the library’s collection rests with the library director. Individuals who participate in weeding include the director, librarians, and other library personnel. The library encourages the teaching faculty to work with and provide feedback to library personnel to identify materials to weed.
Criteria for Weeding
Library materials of all types may be candidates for weeding based on the following criteria:
The content of library materials should be accurate and up to date. Materials that are superseded by newer, revised, or updated editions may be weeded. The library takes into consideration faculty and students whose scholarship and teaching require the use of historical texts in areas such as psychology, mathematics, and physics.
Low or no usage may be a factor in weeding decisions. Library personnel may consult circulation statistics or other reports to determine viable candidates for weeding.
- Physical Condition
Materials that are badly deteriorated or damaged and beyond reasonable preservation efforts will be weeded. Consideration for replacement will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Due to space limitations, the library may weed duplicate copies of library materials. Library staff will take into consideration the need to have more than one copy of a title on hand, especially for materials that are heavily used or are a part of a college-wide program.
Materials that are part of a multi-volume set of which the library does not have all volumes may be weeded.
The library will not weed materials that are considered unique.
- Format Obsolescence
Materials in obsolete formats may be weeded if the content is available elsewhere or if the material is in poor condition.
Formats and Material Types
If physical copies are worn and the library has the same title in ebook form, these copies will be candidates for withdrawal. Additionally, for new acquisitions, the ebook format is starting to overtake print in many areas. Thus, even though ebooks are not visible on the shelves, many subject areas of the libraries are covered by this format. The library director and librarians will work with relevant teaching faculty to determine the need to retain print copies in addition to electronic versions for research and/or instructional purposes.
- Journals and Other Recurring Publications
Although electronic access is the preferred format for serials, journals, and newspapers, the library still houses many titles in print and microform formats. If a journal title is available through one of the GALILEO databases, the library may opt to weed the print issues.
Books, collection sets, and other materials in microfilm or microfiche may be weeded based on any of the criteria listed in section 3 of these guidelines.
- Media Materials
Media formats may be weeded based on any of the criteria listed in the previous section of these guidelines.
Federal depository maps must follow weeding guidelines published by the depository program. Purchased maps may be weeded based on any of the criteria listed in the previous section of these guidelines.
- Federal Documents
The library must follow the weeding guidelines that are in place at the federal level for government documents.
- Reference Materials
Reference materials may be weeded based on any of the criteria listed in the previous section of these guidelines. Print materials may be weeded based on their availability online.
Disposition of Weeded Materials
Dalton State College is required by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and state and federal regulations to inventory and track moveable assets. Assets are acquired from a variety of sources and must be used for institutional purposes and they must be disposed of in accordance to state guidelines. The Department of Administrative Services defines surplus property as “any item that is non-consumable and non-expendable that is no longer needed”. These items may or may not be inventoried by the College. There are several options for disposing of state property. Weeded materials may be donated to another state agency or surplused in compliance with State of Georgia regulations.
Materials approved to be weeded from the collection will be physically removed from the building. Records for these items will be removed from the library catalog.
Review and Revision of Guidelines
Weeding guidelines will be reviewed regularly by the collection management librarian in collaboration with the director for technical services and technology, library selectors, and other library personnel.
- The material to be weeded should be brought to the Technical Services workroom and placed on carts designated "Weeding." Each title should have a "weeding slip" filled out and inserted.
- Using the Collection Development Policy for guidance, the Director will review the material that is under consideration for weeding and make the final decision as to its disposition.
- If the Director decides to withdraw the material, she will notify the Cataloging librarian who will deaccession the volumes as follows:
- Delete or correct the bib and item records
- Delete our holdings on OCLC
- Withdraw the titles and volumes from the collection statistics
- Update the “withdrawn” spreadsheet with title, ISBN, author, call number, OCLC number
- Send updated list to appropriate person in the Office of Procurement.
- Box and label for surplus.
Revised December 2017
Approved by Faculty Senate 2/8/18