Weeding

Rod Library recognizes a responsibility to support the university's institutional objectives, academic programs, and research interests as funds, availability of materials, and space in which to house the collection allow.  The university offers a range of undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences, professional programs in teacher preparation and business, and selected graduate programs, most at the Master's level.  Library holdings in particular subjects will vary in depth and breadth as the scope of local programs and usefulness of historical materials make appropriate.  The Library has developed extensive collections in a number of disciplines over time, collections of distinction.  Areas of traditional collecting strength or uniqueness are identified in the library’s Collection Management Plan (2014).   In shaping the local collections, anticipated as well as current needs are considered as much as possible. 

Periodic weeding of the Library’s collections ensures that they are current and relevant, and aligned with local information needs, the curriculum, and research patterns.  Weeding also ensures the availability of shelf space for continued growth of the collections and contributes to the ease of access.

Materials in the following categories are the most likely candidates for withdrawal or special treatment:

  1. Lost and missing items.  Replacements or new editions of damaged or missing items may be purchased or sought on the out-of-print market; changes in format are made as necessary or advisable.
  1. Materials in poor physical condition that cannot be repaired.  These may be withdrawn, placed in custom-made boxes, stored while ongoing need is assessed, or housed in a limited-access collection as their continuing value warrants. 
  1. Duplicate copies.  These are removed from the collection as use patterns dictate.  Ordinarily, no more than two copies of a title are retained.
  1. Media in obsolete formats.  In some instances, these may be replaced by current formats, if available.
  1. Superseded editions.  Ordinarily, only the most recent edition of a title is retained in the collection, although use patterns, research practices in some disciplines, unique content of each edition, and historical or ongoing value may make it advisable to retain a series of editions.
  1. Orphan volumes in multi-volume sets.
  1. Outdated or obsolete materials. Titles that provide examples of particular theories or schools of thought may be retained for their historical value and ongoing interest.   Titles presenting outdated theories, research, or practice or early understandings will be retained to support the university curriculum and academic research. Outdated material also may be retained when the work has ongoing reference value and the Library owns a long run of a title.

In weeding materials, the Collection Strategist Librarians, who are responsible for the selection and assessment of resources, consider a number of criteria, including the following: 

  • external circulation patterns
  • records of in-house use
  • published library standards
  • accreditation requirements in a particular discipline
  • the place of individual titles or categories of titles in the collective literature of a discipline
  • strengths and weaknesses of local holdings as identified through collection assessments
  • the availability of individual titles at other libraries with which the Library has a collaborative collection agreement
  • responsibility to retain titles due to collaborative collection agreements
  • access to a title in an alternate format (such as an e-book)
  • availability through interlibrary loan

Withdrawn materials may be transferred to other campus departments and offices or sent to other approved state agencies.  No materials are withdrawn to individuals. The Library also seeks to donate and sell materials through Better World Books. 

 

March 2017

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