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Lansing Community College Library Services

Collection Management: Weeding

This guide is a one-stop-shop for librarians and staff to learn more about the Library's collection development policy and how to develop, manage, and evaluate our collections to support student success at LCC.


Weeding, or the removal or the deselection of obsolete, damaged, unneeded materials is to be considered an integral part of collection management. This procerss is important in order to keep the collection current, viable, and useful. Weeding will be an active and continuing process done by librarians to ensure that our collection meets the needs of our students, faculty, and staff. The weeding process is as important to the library collection as the selection process.

The purpose of weeding is to:

  • Maintain relevant and up-to-date collection that serves the needs of the students, faculty, and staff.
  • Remove books least likely to be used in the future.
  • Review collection for content and identify areas where additional titles are needed.
  • Increase circulation.
  • Locate books that need to be repaired, rebound or replaced.
  • Save expense of housing materials unnecessarily.
  • Become aware of changes in the way the community uses the collection.
  • Utilize available space in the best and most economical way.

General Criteria

CONTENT – Books may be in excellent physical condition but contain inaccurate information or be presented in such as way as to warrant weeding.  Weed based on the following criteria:
  • Superseded editions (i.e. a newer edition is available)
  • Outdated language, photographs or illustrations
  • Ephemeral; waning interest
  • Dated or inaccurate information

CONDITION - Materials in poor condition are prime candidates for replacement. Weed items which have the following defects:

  • Loose, frayed or broken binding
  • Yellow, brittle pages
  • Soiled covers and pages
  • Missing pages and illustrations
  • Heavily marked pages
  • Mutilation or damage

CIRCULATION OR USE -  Circulation reports on specific call number ranges across the print collection show the frequency of circulation and/or the most recent  date the item has circulated. This report can be generated by the Technical Services head and distributed among the liaison librarians assigned. 

Generally, items that have not circulated for the last five years and are not needed for reference should be evaluated for discard.

For more guidelines on weeding, please see the CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries   


Weeding Guidelines

The documents below outlines specific guidelines and procedures you need to follow when you are doing weeding or deselection.