Weeding is the practice of discarding excess copies, rarely used books, and materials information which is incorrect or no longer relevant to the curriculum or needs of students or users.


All librarians are encouraged to weed their collections every year in order to maintain materials that are still useful and timely.

Controversial material

Weeding should not be used as a means for withdrawing materials which are of a controversial nature or which needs re-evaluation. A policy should be adopted for handling the re-evaluation of materials considered controversial.

General Guidelines

Last date of circulation, for example if the material has not been in general use during a certain time, depending on the kind of library and its users. If the phisical condition is badly worn or excessively dirty, the item may be weeded, and a decision concerning replacement should be made. Timeliness, for example for out-of-date materials, particularly in the sciences and technology, materials no longer in demand, or that no longer support the curriculum or current community needs, older editions no longer used, and dated textbooks.

Weeding references

For a more in depth research and understanding of weeding, the following sites provide more detailed information:
Weeding from overbooked - (www.overbooked.org/ra/weeding.html)
Sunlink advice on weeding - (www.sunlink.ucf.edu/weed/)
The CREW method - (www.tsl.state.tx.us/ld/pubs/crew/)