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Collection Development and Management Policy

Systemic Weeding of Monographs

Systematic Weeding of Monographs


Guidelines for systematic weeding

·         Recommended standards –

·         Objective is to maintain a core collection that should satisfy 95-99% of the present demands made upon it, including in-house usage.

·         Criteria for weeding should take into consideration the likelihood of future usage or retention of core works in a field even when not actively used (i.e., “classics”).  

·         Emphasis is on non-scholarly or non-research level publications such as textbooks and other secondary items, as well as duplicate copies, multiple editions, out of date or out of scope items, peripheral material, and material in poor or damaged condition.  Most scholarly monographs or university press publications should be reviewed judiciously, case by case. 

·         In the event that a large amount of material is pulled from the same area, Circulation staff should be notified so that any necessary shifting can be done.

·         Works by UWF faculty or UWF-affiliated authors should not be pulled, or works by local or regional authors, unless there are duplicates with low usage.

·         Circulation data for each item should be examined. A work that has not circulated within a 15-year period should be considered a candidate for weeding.  The OPAC union catalog will be searched for each title - if UWF is the only library holding a copy, the copy will be given special consideration for retention

·         Multiple copies – no more than one copy should be left on the shelf unless usage or importance of the item warrants it.  Copy(ies) in the best physical condition should be kept.  The shelf should be checked for other editions, reprints, etc., of the same work.  Sometimes a duplicate copy of an important book can be transferred to ECC, especially if it relates to a program that is taught there.

·         Multiple editions – if they have the same author, title, publisher, editor, etc., the latest edition will be retained. If there are different editors or publishers and the works are more than basic updates of the same thing, they will not be withdrawn unless the title meets other weeding criteria.

·         Outdated materials – “outdated” is a relative term – a ten-year-old computer science book is outdated whereas a ten-year-old history book may not be.  There are older books which are classics in their fields but have never been checked out – be very judicious. Secondary materials such as older textbooks not by classic authors in the field, popular or consumer-level books should be emphasized. In addition, old reports that may be a page or two long (frequently in pam binders), old test books such as GRE exams, any secondary material that was once useful at the time but the field has evolved with more current information in newer material, should be considered outdated material.

·         Out of scope –  material which refers to but doesn’t directly relate to a UWF academic program, such as agriculture.  Similar guidelines apply, especially if the information is old or out of date. 

·         Damaged material – if a book is damaged and in need of repair, or in poor condition with missing or deteriorated content, it should be pulled but should be routed to the Coordinator of Collection Development who will determine, in conjunction with the subject specialist, whether the book should be weeded or repaired.  Such material is not normally reviewed by teaching faculty first.  


Decision Making Authority

·         Using the established criteria, librarians will identify materials in their areas of collection responsibility for withdrawal consideration.

·         Librarians and staff with relevant subject expertise may be asked to assist in weeding specific areas.

·         Material will be transferred to Cataloging Services and reviewed by library and teaching faculty on the announced schedule.



·         Weeding goals, focus, and specific metrics for the year will be established annually at the July CDC meeting, with specific division of labor and semester goals to be determined afterward by the subject specialists.

·         General metrics and circumstances to be considered in establishing yearly goals:

o    A general guideline of 2 items removed per item added to the collection in a particular LC call number range

o    Areas in the main stacks that are suffering from space issues

o    Length of time it has been since a particular subject area has been weeded

o    The rapidity of turnover of relevant material in that discipline (ie, technology is a high turnover subject, history is not)

o    Any changes in program offerings by the University

·         Subject specialists will collectively determine the division of the goal throughout the year, taking into account the necessity of spreading the workload out over the entire year.


·         Reviewers may fill truck by going to stacks or ask Circulation to run a report (item list by call number and last use date) and pull a truck for review.  Circulation needs advanced notice to allow time for FVLC to generate requested reports.

·         Any items that are damaged or need repair should be brought to Circulation.

·         Items that can be automatically withdrawn, such as duplicates or superseded editions, do not need faculty review and may be withdrawn. Reviewers should notify cataloging of items that can be automatically withdrawn. 

·        Books that require teaching faculty review (items that are not superceeded or duplicates) neede to have an accompanying decision slip.  Top portion of the slip will be completed for each book by reviewer- assistance in completion of the flags may be requested from Circulation.

·         Items that require faculty review  will be put up for review in Cataloging Services. At the end of each semester, a review period of no more than 30 days will be set for all items identified for withdrawal in the past semester. The Collection Development Coordinator will notify faculty of the review period.

·         After review period, books will be withdrawn from ALEPH and OCLC by Cataloging Services.

·         Circulation students are available to assist with physical withdrawal (cross off spine label & barcode, withdrawal stamp on page following the title page).

·         Withdrawn books will be offered to Books on the Run or Better World Books or placed in the book sale.


·         Cataloging Services will keep track of how many items are withdrawn in each call number range. The tracking system should also reflect how many items were withdrawn by each librarian according to that librarian's relevant call number classifications.

·         More information coming soon.