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Sustainable Collection Services®

Weeding and deselection bibliography

Library weeding

Jump to a specific sub-topic: Case studies and projects | Discards: what to do with them? | Faculty investment | In the news | Opinion | Policies | Pre-2000 citations  | Questions of cost | Reference collections | Theory and practice

Library weeding—case studies and projects

Library weeding—discards: what to do with them?


Web resources

Vendor/Program websites

Library weeding—faculty investment

Library weeding—in the news

Library weeding—opinion

Library weeding—policies

Library weeding—pre-2000 citations

Library weeding—questions of cost

Library weeding—reference collections

Library weeding—theory and practice


Collaborative collection management

Jump to a specific sub-topic: Case studies and individual programs | Theory and practice

Case studies and individual programs

  • EAST by Northeast

    Stearns, Susan
    Collaborative Librarianship: Vol. 8: Iss. 1, Article 4. 2016

    The Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust (EAST) is currently completing a large-scale analysis of collections across 40 of the participating libraries. This analysis will provide insight into both uniqueness and overlap across the libraries’ holdings and will result in agreements by the libraries to retain circulating monographs in their local collections for an agreed upon time period and to make those materials available to researchers and scholars from other EAST libraries. In parallel to this collection analysis, EAST is implementing validation sampling across the libraries to better understand volume availability and condition and the role they may plan in retention decisions.

  • The Evolution of Collaborative Collection Development within a Library Consortium: Data Analysis Applied in a Cultural Context (book chapter)

    Osterman, Anne Charlotte and Genya O'Gara and Alison M. Armstrong
    Space and Organizational Considerations in Academic Library Partnerships and Collaborations. 2016

    This chapter details a collection analysis project carried out within the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) consortium in 2013-2015. This project included an analysis of 12 member libraries' main stacks monographs – a total of just under six million volumes – and demonstrates the importance of relying on established cultural support as well as the challenges of cultural change involved in library collaboration. The project stands out from other similar collection analyses conducted by groups of libraries in its central focus on using the analysis to inform prospective, collaborative collection development.

  • Shared Print in Indiana

    Baich, Tina and Kirsten Leonard.
    IOLUG Spring 2015 Conference, Indianapolis, IN, June 12, 2015.

    In 2013, 36 Indiana academic libraries came together to take part in the ALI/PALNI Shared Print Project. By sharing their resources, the libraries were able to engage Sustainable Collection Services to analyze the circulating print monographs of each library individually and as a whole. This year’s keynote address will share background on the ALI/PALNI Shared Print Project, the results to date and plans for the future.

  • Major Maine Libraries, Public and Academic, Collaborate on Print Archiving Project

    Kelley, Michael
    Library Journal March 15, 2013

    "Eight of Maine’s largest libraries, both public and academic, are about halfway through a major and distinctive project for the shared management and archiving of their print collections and the integration of digital editions into a statewide catalog."

  • Collaborative Stewardship: Building a Shared, Central Collection of Print Legal Materials

    Maes, Margaret K. and Tracy L. Thompson-Przylucki
    Collection Management 37 (3-4) (2012): 294-3062012

    This article describes how two legal resources organizations are currently working toward a collaborative solution to the challenge of providing current materials for today’s legal researchers and preserving materials in print for potential need tomorrow.

  • Cooperative Collection Development. Strategic Agenda.

    Orbis Cascade Alliance. Last Updated: 5/8/12

    Orbis Cascade Web Site

  • Shared Print Collections

    California Digital Library.  Last Updated: 4/26/12

    California Digital Library Web Site

  • MCLS and SCS

    Lugg, Rick
    Sample and Hold (Blog) March 2012

  • CIC Universities to Co-invest in a Shared Print Repository

    CLI eNews June 2011

  • VALE Last Copy Preservation Program Guidelines

    Virtual Academic Library Environment (VALE) Last Updated: 12/14/09

    VALE WEB Site

  • Collaborative Collection Management in a High-density Storage Facility

    Seaman, Scott
    College and Research Libraries 66(1) (2005): 20-27 2005

    This is a case study of four Colorado institutions that opened a shared high-density storage facility. Challenging policy issues are described, as related to selection, ownership, operations, and access.

  • Last Copy Project Overview

    Consortium of Academic and Research Librairies in Illinois (CARLI)

    CARLI Web Site

Theory and practice

Collection assessment

  • Less Is More: Origins of University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Collection Assessment Plan

    Reich, Thomas
    Proceedings of the Charleston Library Conference 2013

    Describes a weeding and collection assessment effort at the University of Wisconsin while focusing on "less is more" perspectives. Their retention guidelines and "multiple copy process" are provided in an appendix."

  • The SCS Monographs Index

    Lugg, Rick
    SCS Insight September 25, 2013

    The averages reported in the 2013 SCS Monographs Index are based on print monographs data from 57 libraries, representing 26,189,000 holdings.

  • What is Unique About Unique? An Assessment to Uncover and Value Distinct Collections Within the Main Library Collection

    Stoddard, Rick E., Laurel Kristick, Andrea Wirth
    2013 Acquisitions Institute of Timberline Lodge May 2013

    This study will examine measures of value associated with library collections and how they might be leveraged to test and uncover potentially unique collections.

  • Academic Branch Libraries: Assessment and Collection Development

    Poole, Julie
    Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning 3(3/4), (2009): 192-205. 2009

    Mercer University's Regional Academic Center Libraries use quantitative and qualitative means for assessing collections in an ongoing project.

  • Indicators for collection evaluation: A new dimensional framework

    Borin, Jacqueline and Hua Yi
    Collection Building 27(4) (2008): 136-1432008

    This paper bridges two different evaluation models, collection-based and user-based. Includes a literature review.

  • Assessment in a tight time frame: Using readily available data to evaluate your collection

    Crosetto, A. et al.
    Collection Management 33(1/2) (2008): 29-50. 2008

    This paper highlights how readily available data were used to evaluate the volumes in the reference collection and the circulating collection in order to maximize the space for the renovation projects at the University of Toledo.

  • Guide to Review of Library Collections: Preservation, Storage, and Withdrawal

    Lambert, Dennis K., et al.
    2nd ed. (Collection Management and Development Guides, No. 12) Lanham: Scarecrow Press; published in cooperation with the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services 2002

    This book offers a thorough introduction to the topic for libraries of all types and sizes wishing to plan and formulate reviews of materials in their general collections, regardless of format.

  • De-selection: What are we throwing out?

    Leja, I
    Art Libraries Journal 27(2) (2002): 40. 2002

    Published in the UK and available from British Library Direct.

  • Selecting for Storage: Local problems, local responses and an emerging common challenge

    Hazen, Dan
    LRTS 44(4) (2000): 176 2000

    The author explores criteria that can be employed in selecting materials for storage as well as the interplay between these criteria, the mechanics of storage operations, and the pressures associated with storage goals.

  • Books Not for College Libraries

    Farber, Evan Ira
    Library Journal 122(13) (1997): 44-45 1997

    Although weeding can save libraries money, shelving time, and increase circulation, it can create serious political problems for college librarians. Proposes a method of compiling lists of candidate titles for weeding based on a comparison of recommended titles lists contained in three editions of Books for College Libraries.

  • Obsolescence of music literature

    Diodato, Virgil P., and Fran Smith.
    Journal of the American Society for Information Science 44(2) (1993): 101-112. 1993

    Results from this study included average median citation ages of 14.0 years for references to journal articles and 16.0 years for references to all types of documents. Musicology obsolesced most slowly (median citation age equal to 22.0 years), followed by music education (14.3 years), and music theory (9.6 years).

  • Reviewing for preservation, storage, and weeding

    Mosher, P.H.
    Collection Management: a New Treatise. Edited by C.B Osborn and R. Atkinson (Foundations in library and information science, 26B). Greenwich: JAI Press. (1991): 375-376.1991

  • Predicting Individual Book Use for Off-Site Storage Using Decision Trees

    Silverstein, Craig and Stuart Shieber
    Library Quarterly 66(3) (1996): 266-293 1966

    The authors explore various methods for predicting library book use, as measured by circulation records.

Collection use

Collection futures

Collections research

  • Strength in Numbers: The Research Libraries UK (RLUK) Collective Collection

    Malpas, Constance Brian Lavoie
    OCLC Research 2016

    In partnership with Research Libraries UK (RLUK), OCLC Research has produced a detailed characterization of the collective collection of the RLUK membership, with special emphasis on print books. This report examines the size, scope, and overlap patterns of the RLUK collective collection, supplemented with additional perspective from comparison to the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) collective collection and the global library system as a whole. This study is of particular interest to the RLUK membership, but is also relevant to any group of higher education institutions engaged in, or planning, cooperative efforts around their collections.

  • Potential weeding candidates among 19th and early 20th century books

    Andy Breeding
    05 December 2014

  • A closer examination of 19th and early 20th century books

    Andy Breeding
    09 October 2014

  • Understanding the Collective Collection: Towards a System-wide Perspective on Library Print Collections

    Dempsey, Lorcan, Brian Lavoie, Constance Malpas, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Roger C. Schonfeld, JD Shipengrover, and Günter Waibel
    OCLC Research 2013

    This report brings together work that OCLC Research has done in providing a quantitative, analytic, system-wide view of library collections. This work has established an evidence base that has allowed libraries to begin the shift from local provisioning of library collections and services to increased reliance on cooperative infrastructure, collective collections, shared technology platforms, and "above-the-institution" management strategies.

  • Optimising the number of copies and storage protocols for print preservation of research journals

    Yanoa, Candace Arai & Zuo-Jun Max Shenb & Stephen Chanc
    International Journal of Production Research 51(23-24)2013

    This research presents models for two storage protocols, both of which have the goal of finding minimum-cost or Pareto optimal policies for ensuring, with a high probability, survival of at least one copy for a specified time horizon. One protocol involves archiving only clean copies in a secure environment, and the second protocol is a hybrid approach that combines clean copies with backup copies that can be ‘cleaned up’ to replace clean copies that are lost or damaged.

  • Print Archive Plans at OCLC (Slides)

    Harnish, Kathryn
    OCLC 2011

    Offers an overview of OCLC's disclosure strategy - to be tested.

  • Cloud-sourcing Shared Research Collections: Managing Print in the Mass-digitized Library Environment

    Malpas, Constance
    Dublin: OCLC Research2011

    The objective of this research was to examine the feasibility of outsourcing management of low-use print books held in academic libraries to shared service providers, including large-scale print and digital repositories.

  • Beyond 1923: Characteristics of Potentially In-copyright Books in Library Collections

    Lavoie, Brian and Lorcan Dempsey
    D-Lib Magazine 15(11/12)2009

    The focus of this article is on print book titles that are either in-copyright or potentially in-copyright.

  • Library Storage Facilities and the Future of Print Collections in North America

    Payne, Lizanne
    OCLC Programs and Research2007

    The author concludes that high-density library storage facilities have moved into the mainstream for collection management in academic libraries, and that this is the optimum time for the academic and library community to develop a broader, system-wide approach to maintaining print collections across institutional boundaries.

  • Last Copies: What's at Risk?

    Connaway, Lynn Silipigni
    College and Research Libraries 67(4) (July 2006): 370-3792006

    WorldCat contains twenty-four million records for items held by only a single OCLC member library. The characteristics of these unique materials are not well understood. This study proposes a conceptual model derived from the examination of materials held exclusively by Vanderbilt University Libraries.

  • Changing Global Book Collection Patterns in ARL Libraries

    Jackson, Mary et al.
    Washington DC: Association of Research Libraries2006

    For each of ten world regions, excluding North America, the average number of ARL library holdings per bibliographic record ranges from 2.99 for East Asian books to 6.28 for Latin American books.

  • Books without Boundaries: A Brief Tour of the System-wide Print Book Collection

    Lavoie, Brian and Roger C. Schonfeld
    Journal of Electronic Publishing 9(2)Summer 2006

  • Anatomy of Aggregate Collections: The example of Google Print for Libraries

    Lavoie, Brian et al.
    D-Lib Magazine 11(9)September 2005

    This article offers some perspectives on the Google Print Library Project in light of what is known about library print book collections in general, and those of the Google 5 in particular, from information in OCLC's WorldCat bibliographic database and holdings file.

  • The Impact of Collection Weeding on the Accuracy of WorldCat Holdings

    Young, Jeffrey
    A Master's Research Paper submitted to the Kent State University School of Library and Information Science2002

  • Global Collective Resources: A Study of Monographic Bibliographic Records in WorldCat

    Perrault, Anna H
    OCLC Newsletter 249 (2001): 6-72001

    A 10% systematic random sample of the WorldCat database was analyzed utilizing the OCLC iCAS product to profile the monographic bibliographic records in WorldCat by type of library, subject, language, and publication date.

Digital preservation

Library space planning

  • Library Space as a Service

    Dempsey, Lorcan
    Lorcan Dempsey's Weblog August 31, 2012

    Lorcan comments on two aspects of Stanford's very nice new website.

  • Library Launches Space Planning Initiative

    UC Santa Barbara Library
    News. UC Santa Barbara Web Site. April 4, 2012

  • Non-Convertible Space

    Lugg, Rick
    Sample and Hold (blog) December 2010

  • Space: The Final Frontier

    Lugg, Rick
    Sample and Hold (blog) November 2010

  • The Myth of Browsing: Academic Library Space in the Age of Facebook

    Barclay, Donald
    American Libraries May 19, 2010

    The challenge for academic librarians is how to reduce the size of onsite collections without either destroying the soul of their libraries or sending their faculty to the barricades.

  • Libraries and Learning: A History of Paradigm Change

    Bennett, Scott
    Library Space Planning. Urbana, IL. Web Site. 2008

    The author traces three paradigms in the design of library space that reflect the transformation of information from a scarce to a superabundant commodity. They are the "reader-centered" the "book-centered" and the "learning centered" paradigms of library space design.

  • Shaping Our Space: Envisioning the New Research Library

    Branin, Joseph J.
    Journal of Library Administration 46(2) (2007): 27-53 2007

    How much space should be devoted to print collections and services, and how much space should be devoted to digital services, information commons, and other new demands on library space? The answers are to be found through an exploration of emerging library practices of “content management” and “learning space design” that must be linked to the aesthetics and functionality of effective architecture.

  • Library as Place: Rethinking Roles, Rethinking Space

    Bennett, Scott et al.
    Council on Library and Information Resources 2005

    What is the role of a library when it no longer needs to be a warehouse of books and when users can obtain information without setting foot in its doors?

  • From the Ashes of Alexandria: What's Happening in the College Library

    Demas, Sam
    CLIR Reports 129 2005

    This article suggests that the college library look to the Mouseion as one model for further integrating itself into the community it serves - and for providing a unique cultural center that inspires, supports, and contextualizes its users'

  • Spaces for Social Study

    Cohen, Patricia
    New York Times August 1 (2004): 19 2004

  • Physical Space for Virtual Services and Collections

    Connaway, Lynn Silipigni
    Libraries and the Academy 4(4) (2004): 127-131 2004

    Now that libraries and campuses are wired, the user is becoming unwired. What is the future of the library as a physical space?

  • Libraries Designed for Learning

    Bennett, Scott
    Washington DC: Council on Library and Information Resources 2003

    The author asks whether the goal of libraries today might more appropriately be described as “supporting collaborative learning by which students turn information into knowledge and sometimes into wisdom.”

  • Esprit de Place: Maintaining and Designing Library Buildings to Provide Transcendent Spaces

    Demas, Sam and Jeffery A. Scherer
    American Libraries 33(4) (2002): 65-68 2002

    Discusses library buildings and their role in building community. Reviews current design trends.

  • Building Blocks for Planning Functional Library Space. Lanham: Scarecrow

    Fine, Jerold W.
    Lanham: Scarecrow Press 2001

  • The Library Space Problem, Future Demand, and Collection Control

    Lee, Hur-Li
    Library Resources and Technical Services 37(2) (1993): 147-166 1993

    This paper offers a new way to think about deselection and storage decisions by incorporating the prediction of future demand and cost analysis into one model.

  • Library Space Planning

    Fraley, Ruth A. and Carol Lee Anderson
    New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers 1985

    A How-To manual for assessing, allocating, and reorganizing collections, resources, and facilities.

Offsite book storage

Jump to a specific sub-topic: Case studies and individual programs | Theory and practice

Case studies and individual programs

  • Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) Shared Collection

    WRLC Website Last updated September 2012

    WRLC operates a shared offsite storage facility designed to free valuable space in the campus libraries for newer or more frequently-accessed materials. The storage facility provides high-density, environmentally-controlled, retrievable storage for books, audiovisual or microform media, and archival boxes. Individual items are sorted by size in order to store the maximum number of items in the minimum floor area.

  • Florida Academic Repository (FLARE)

    Council of State University Libraries (CSUL) Website Last updated June 2012

    The Statewide Storage Facility’s primary purpose will be the storage of low-use materials from the academic libraries in Florida. It will be a high-density “Harvard” model with a non-browsable organization of material, it will be climate controlled, and it will be located in Gainesville. The facility will house shared copies of monographs, journals, and other items which will be equally and readily available to all state university libraries.

  • A Spa for books

    Lugg, Rick
    Sample and Hold (blog)May 14, 2012

    Facts and observations about ReCAP, a high-density offsite storage facility owned jointly by Princeton, Columbia, and New York Public Library.

  • Weeding an outdated collection in an automated retrieval system

    Bravender, Patricia and Valerie Long
    Collection Management 36 (2011): 237-245 2011

    In 2008 Grand Valley State University Libraries began a large weeding project in the automated retrieval system (ARS) at its Steelcase Library. An estimated 19,000 volumes were to be removed from the ARS. A systematic weeding of the ARS had never been undertaken and it presented a number of logistical challenges. This article discusses the process that was devised for this large weeding project.

  • Off-site storage: an analysis

    Agee, Jim and Sarah Naper
    Collection Building 26(1) (2007): 20-25 2007

    A reflective look at PASCAL in the larger context of off-site storage facilities and practices.

  • Buying Time: The leveraged use of a library storage facility

    Knight, R. Cecilia
    Technical Services Quarterly 24(4), (2007): 29-42 2007

    Grinnell College Libraries

  • High-Density Off-Site Storage: Document Delivery and Academic Library Research Collections

    Seaman, Scott
    Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Information Supply 13(3) (2003): 91-103

    This article describes a high-density off-site book storage facility operated by a consortium of the University of Colorado and the University of Denver.

  • Temporary Remote Book Storage at the University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries

    Austin, Brice and Scott Seaman
    Collection Management 27(1) (2002): 59-78 2002

    Describes the planning and implementation of a temporary facility for 325,000 volumes.

  • Eliminating duplication in a shared storage facility: Practical and political issues

    Oud, Joanne
    Against the Grain 13(3), (2001): 1, 20-22 2001

  • A Collaborative Approach to Collection Storage: The Five-College Library Depository

    Bridegam, Willis E.
    Council on Library and Information Resources June 2001

    This report offers a case study in the advantages and disadvantages of depository libraries, their economics, and the practical and political issues associated with their creation.

  • Remote shelving comes of age: storage collection management at the University of Michigan

    Lougee, Wendy P.
    Collection Management, 16(2) 1992

    The processes employed at the University of Michigan Library for collection transfers are described, including an analysis of collection use data to develop criteria for storage.

  • Selecting and moving books to a remote depository: A case study

    Seaman, Scott and D. DeGeorge
    Collection Management 16(1) (1992): 137-142 1992

    The selection, processing, and moving of 10,000 titles from a large academic library to an off-campus depository are described. The move was successfully completed without using professional movers or specialized equipment. The criteria for identifying 10,000 seldom-used or at-risk books from 300,000 volumes are listed, and online catalog processing and the physical move outlined.

Theory and practice

Shared print archives and repositories

Jump to a specific sub-topic: Reports and articles | Web resources and programs

Reports and articles

Web resources and programs