Auburn Montgomery Library

Weeding and Retention Policies

Guidelines for Weeding

The following are general guidelines to be used in weeding the collection.  Please keep in mind that multiple factors should play a role in deciding what to weed.

     Lack of Circulation – For most areas, if a title has not circulated in ten years, it is a viable candidate for weeding.
    Poor physical condition – If an item is recommended for weeding because of poor physical condition, the access services record for the title should be examined to determine if the work should be replaced.  If the title has circulated within the past three years, a replacement copy should be acquired.
    Uniqueness – Is this a title unique within the region?  Is it available elsewhere, or is the information contained within the work easily available in another work or format.
    Multiple copies – Multiple copies, outdated and superseded Reference works should be weeded.  On multiple copies, copies older than five years that have circulated less than twice should be reduced to a single copy of the work.
    Currency – Has the title been superseded by a newer edition with more complete information, and does the library have a copy of that newer edition?

Poor physical condition may be determined by the following questions:

    Is the text block adequately bound to the covers;
    Are there signs of fungal damage (i.e., mold)
    Is the text block or the covers so badly torn that they cannot be repaired?
    Have pages or chapters been removed from the book?


     Classic works – Works which are recognized classics within their respective fields, or works by respected authors in specific subject areas should NOT be recommended for weeding (unless the poor physical condition rules apply.
    Works clearly containing research value.  This is primarily true for the areas in the humanities and social sciences.
     Balance – Where titles being selected for weeding offer a differing perspective to the remainder of the collection, care should be taken to ensure that differing viewpoints remain available to the university community.
    Rare items – Those items that are notable works, having excellent illustrations, and which are no longer generally available, and which had a high purchase cost, should not be weeded.  Examples of these types of works might by “Tre’s riches heures du duc de Berry” or Mckinney and Hall’s “Handbook of American Indians.”