Weeding is an essential, continuing library practice in which materials are removed permanently from the Ottenheimer Library’s collections. The process maximizes the collections’ usefulness and ensures that they remain viable and continue to support the instructional and research requirements of students, faculty, and staff at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In addition, the process frees shelf space for newly acquired materials. Decisions to weed are made within the context of the Collection Management Guidelines: Overview and in keeping with the library’s mission to collect, organize, and provide access to information resources.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR WEEDING
Final responsibility for weeding materials from the library’s collection rests with the library dean. Individuals who participate in weeding include the director of technical services and technology, the collection management librarian, library subject selectors, and other library personnel. The library encourages the teaching faculty to work with and provide feedback to library personnel to identify materials to weed.
CRITERIA FOR WEEDING
Library materials of all types (which include, but are not limited to books, journals, microforms, and maps) may be candidates for weeding if they meet any of the following criteria.
The content of library materials should be accurate and up to date. Materials that are superseded by newer, revised, or updated editions may be weeded. The library takes into consideration faculty and students whose scholarship and teaching require the use of historical texts in areas such as psychology, mathematics, and physics.
Low or no usage may be a factor in weeding decisions. Library personnel may consult circulation statistics or other reports to determine viable candidates for weeding.
Materials that are badly deteriorated or damaged and beyond reasonable preservation efforts will be weeded.
Because of space limitations the library may weed duplicate copies of library materials. Library staff will take into consideration the need to have more than one copy of a title on hand, especially for materials that are heavily used or are a part of a university-wide program.
Materials that are part of a multi-volume set of which the library does not have all volumes may be weeded.
The library will not weed materials that are considered unique.
Materials in obsolete formats may be weeded if the content is available elsewhere or if the material is in poor condition.
FORMATS AND MATERIAL TYPES
Print books in the collection that are duplicated in electronic versions owned by the library may be candidates for weeding. The collection management librarian and subject selectors will work with relevant teaching faculty to determine the need to retain print copies in addition to electronic versions for research and/or instructional purposes.
Journals and Other Recurring Publications
Although electronic access is the preferred format for serials, journals, and newspapers, the library still houses many titles in print and microform formats. If a journal title is available through JSTOR or Project Muse, the library may opt to weed the print issues.
Reference materials may be weeded based on any of the criteria listed in section 3 of these guidelines. Print materials may be weeded based on their availability online. See Collection Management Guidelines: Reference.
DISPOSITION OF WEEDED MATERIALS
Materials approved to be weeded from the collection will be physically removed from the building. Records for these items will be removed from the library catalog. Weeded materials may be donated to another state agency or surplused in compliance with State of Arkansas regulations.
REVIEW AND REVISION OF GUIDELINES
Weeding guidelines will be reviewed regularly by the collection management librarian in collaboration with the director for technical services and technology, library selectors, and other library personnel.