Weeding is the systematic removal of resources from a library based on selected criteria. It is the opposite of selecting material, though the selection and de-selection of material often involve the same thought process. Weeding is a vital process for an active collection because it ensures the collection stays current, relevant, and in good condition. Weeding should be done on a continuous, on-going basis.
- Space is preserved to add relevant materials.
- Patrons are able to access useful material quickly, and the librarian can direct them to information more easily.
- The collection is more reputable because it is current.
- The librarian can easily see the strengths and weaknesses of the collection.
- Materials are of good quality and physical condition.
With many collections having a digital component, space is not an issue for concern. However, this does not mean digital collections should not be weeded. “Clearing out unused materials makes a patron’s searching experience better by reducing the number of old and irrelevant records the patrons must wade through in their search results to find what they really want.” The digital collection, like the physical collection, should be kept current and easily accessible.