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Collection Development and RA: Weeding

What is Weeding?

Weeding (otherwise known as deselection) is the part of the collection development cycle where items are removed for the benefit of the overall collection, keeping it relevant, accurate, and appealing.

Weeding allows library staff to remove items that are damaged, worn, outdated, or no longer relevant and makes room for new materials - essential in a small library with limited shelf space.


One way to evaluate which items are not circulating is to run a report in the ILS. Our Tech Services Department can show you how to do this, or run one for you.

Wise Weeding Words

To quote the excellent Awful Library Books blog:

"Remember – unless your library exists to archive and preserve materials for the ages, we are not in the business of collecting physical things.  We collect information and provide access to information.  We love books as much as anyone else, and sometimes hard decisions have to be made. How many times have you said, “But I just bought that!” and then realized it was ten years ago?"

Additional Resources

CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries: A classic tool from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

The Art of Weeding: Library Journal, 2015

Weeding Library Collections: A selected, annotated bibliography from the American Library Association