Weeding Policies



Before being discarded each item is reviewed by the appropriate librarian based on professional judgment and knowledge of the collection and curriculum. Librarians may at times look to classroom instructors for their recommendations. Library Director may review weeded materials for final approval.


Set up a cutoff date and retrieve circulation record to identify any item that has not circulated after the cutoff date.Identify items that are in poor physical condition.Retrieve old titles by checking copyright/publication date in the catalog.


Items to be weeded will be removed from shelf and catalog. Items will be recycled or donated to book sales. All discarded items should be clearly marked as discarded.

Reasons to Weed

To ensure that the collection is relevant to the curriculum and meets the students' current research needs.To provide an appealing and up-to-date collection that is actively used by the campus community.To make space for newer and better items.

General Weeding Criteria

  • Discard superseded editions that do not contain unique information, data, or provide a historical reference not available in the most current edition.
  • Do not keep duplicate titles unless a proven demand exists for multiple copies.
  • Discard titles unused within a reasonable time period based on subject and scope of the work except for items considered classics or standard editions.
  • Discard if currency or reliability of the resource's information has lost value.
  • Discard superfluous subjects no longer relevant to the curriculum.
  • Discard items in poor condition that are beyond reasonable preservation efforts.

Subject Specific Weeding Criteria

General Works (A): Replace at least one set of encyclopedias every five years.Almanacs and yearbooks are replaced with newer editions.

Philosophy (B-BD, BH, BJ): Most philosophy books do not become outdated.

Psychology (BF): Follow general weeding criteria.

Religion (BL-BX): Most religion books do not become outdated.

History (C, D, E, F): Follow general weeding criteria.

Geography (G-GR): Books in this area can quickly become outdated.

Athletics (GV): Follow general weeding criteria.

Social Science (H-HA): Follow general weeding criteria.

Economics (HB-HJ): Retain primary works by distinguished economists.

Sociology (HM-HX): Retain primary works by distinguished sociologists.

Political Science (J-JX): Retain all primary works.

Law (K): Follow general weeding criteria.

Education (L): Retain biographical materials.

Music (M): Music books generally do not become outdated.

Art (N): Art books generally do not become outdated.

Literature and Language (P): Retain criticism of classic titles.Keep multiple copies of classic literary works.

Pure Science (Q): Remove older materials when newer materials are available that provide better explanations of complex subjects. Materials become outdated when there are new scientific discoveries, theories and techniques in the area.

Mathematics (QA 9-74, 78-939): Retain classics. Normally withdraw older editions when superseded by new ones.

Computer Science (QA 75-77): Materials in this area become outdated quickly. Withdraw older editions when superseded by new ones because newer materials in this area often provide more up-to-date development, better explanations and illustrations.

Astronomy (QB), Physics (QC), Chemistry (QD): Retain titles that are regarded as 'landmark' in the area. Retain works of significant historical or literary value.

Biological Sciences (QH-QR): Follow general weeding criteria.

Medicine (R): Constantly monitor changes in disease diagnosis and treatment. Discard older editions when superseded by new ones. Older materials may be very misleading or even dangerous.

Agriculture (S): Discard older editions when superseded by new ones.

Technology (T): Withdraw materials when newer editions are published or newer material provides better coverage and treatment except auto and appliance repair manuals, cookbooks, and books on guns, clocks, etc.

Military (U-V): Follow general weeding criteria.

Bibliography & Library (Z): Follow general weeding criteria.