What do I need to Know about Weeding?
Weeding is a continuing and consistent activity. Maintaining a meaningful core collection that is rich in content and provides depth to our users is a collaborative effort between staff and management, and should work in alignment with your library’s mission, plan of service, and collection and weeding policies.
Libraries weed collections for three reasons primarily. One very obvious reason is the removal of damaged and dirty materials in order to deliver attractive and usable collections to our customers, which helps to break down negative library stereotypes. We also weed dated materials and inaccurate information. This improves the confidence that customers may have in our collections and ensures that we reflect the contemporary thinking in these fields. Finally, we also weed to create space for incoming material.
By weeding damaged and dated materials, and materials that no longer circulate as they once did, we allow space for newer, more appealing and current materials. Weeding is a critical element in maintaining attractive, useful, and contemporary collections within TRAC. In this regard, it is as important to collection management as the selection of new materials.
For every book that you weed, you can purchase a new item that will better circulate in your community. Items that are circulating contribute to high circulation statistics that will appear in your reports that are presented to your boards and to the Public Library Services Branch.
- Weed damaged or dirty materials to make room for more attractive and usable collections that of course give the best appearance.
- Weed dated materials or inaccurate information. This makes collections more relevant, accurate, and attractive, improving patron confidence your library’s collection.
- Weed items that do not circulate often (excluding newly created items). Items that don’t circulate are likely not meeting the needs or interests of your patron base, so there is no point in keeping them. Replace them with new items that better match your patrons needs and interests.
- Weed items to fill patron needs and promote greater item circulation, which in turn will contribute to better statistics and funding opportunities.
See the file linked to this FAQ for our Complete Weeding Guidelines.