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Beds Weeding

Beds Weeding

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.

A “well-maintained, well-pruned collection is far more useful than one filled with out-of-date or unused materials.”[2] Weeding a physical collection has many benefits:[1]

  • 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.”[2] The digital collection, like the physical collection, should be kept current and easily accessible.

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