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Weeding the Library Collection: Why Weed?

A guide to the weeding project at Loras College Library.

Characteristics of Loras Library Collection

 

no circulation since 1994

average publication date

# of books

1st 

42%

1968

32,444

2nd

48%

1975

49,726

3rd

42%

1970

40,202

4th

54%

1954

60,526

all

48%

1966

182,898

 Total number circulated at least once: 192,445

Why Weed?

There are any number of reasons that libraries undertake weeding projects. Most libraries do this because of limited space. But other reasons include:

  1. Increases the appeal of the books that remain, which increases the use of materials. Students are more likely to use visually appealing materials.
  2. Saves the time of the patrons and the staff. Students can find relevant and useful materials more easily and staff can reshelve books more efficiently.
  3. Improves our reputation for reliability and currency by removing obsolete and inaccurate materials.
  4. Removes books in poor physical condition for repair, replacement, or reshelving in Special Collections.
  5. Encourages browsing by removing musty, dusty, outdated materials.
  6. Eliminates items no longer relevant to the curriculum.
  7. Reduces redundancy by removing duplicate copies and unnecessary previous editions.
  8. Makes space for other learning spaces necessary for today’s students.
  9. Removes the illusion of a well-rounded, well-stocked collection.
  10. Allows libraries to identify those materials that are so esoteric that most people would not use them.
  11. Allows libraries to identify gaps in the collection.