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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?

Articles

Web resources

Vendor/Program websites


Library weeding—faculty investment


Library weeding—in the news


Library weeding—opinion

  • Collection Development in the Humanities and Social Sciences in a Transitional Age: Deaccession of Print Items

    Woolwine, David E.
    Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal) Paper 1173 (2014)

    A literature review of user preferences, research habits and needs, and citation studies are used to argue that de-accession of print titles in the humanities and social sciences in academic libraries should occur in a conservative fashion as libraries transition to greater digital holdings.

  • Library Booksavers Facebook Page

    Facebook September 22, 2014

    This Facebook page was created to "save the books of Albany Library and other Alameda County Library branches from reckless weeding." It includes links to resources and news regarding community opposition to weeding activities within this system.

  • Secrets of the Stacks: How libraries decide which books to keep--and which don't stand the test of the time

    Rose, Phyllis
    Medium.com May 13, 2014

    A Wesleyan english professor looks at the thorny problem of determining merit when it comes to weeding literature. This is an excerpt from her book that chronicles her "adventures in extreme reading."

  • Why People Hate Weeding Books

    Annoyed Librarian (blog)
    Library Journal March 13, 2014

    Reflections on "what it is about book weeding that gets library patrons so panicked?

  • Killing Sir Walter Scott: A Philosophical Exploration of Weeding

    Raphael, Laura
    In the Library with the Leadpipe (blog) July 24, 2013

    Weeding a library collection, while an absolutely essential part of collection management, is a much more complex issue than library literature—and library practitioners—would like to admit. It is not just an intellectual and physical process but an emotional one, wedded to deep psychological, cultural, and even metaphysical issues. This article explores some of the reasons why weeding can be so heartbreaking, difficult, and miserable.

  • Hard Choices: Do Libraries Really Destroy Books?

    Holmes, Linda
    National Public Radio October 12, 2011

    Responds to S. Peter Davis' article "6 Reasons We're in Another Book Burning Period in History."

  • I Can't Believe You're Throwing Out Books!

    Goldberg, Julie
    Perfect Whole (blog) May 16, 2011

    "I am a librarian but no longer a bibliophile."

  • State of the Stacks 2011 - Wardman Library, Whittier College (YouTube Video)

    Garabedian, Mike (narrator)
    Whittier College, Whittier, CA. March 25, 2011

    A description of the current state of the book collection at Wardman Library, Whittier College; and the plan to rebuild subject area collections in the stacks over the next several years.

  • Collaborative print repositories: A case study of library directors' views

    Maskell, Cathy et al.
    The Journal of Academic Librarianship 36 (2010): 242–249 2010

    Surveys library directors in the Ontario Council of University Libraries consortium regarding weeding, last copy print archiving, and the role of the consortium. Responses reveal divergent opinions but an answer lies in partnerships. Cost remains an over-riding factor and the uncertainty of future budgets make commitment to long-term planning difficult.

  • Fahrenheit 451?: A ‘burning question’ on the evidence for book withdrawal

    Booth, Andrew
    Health Information & Libraries Journal 26(2) (2009): 161–165 2009

  • The Art of Weeding (San Diego Mesa College Librarian - YouTube Video)

    Gast, Michael
    San Diego Mesa College 2009

    San Diego Mesa College Librarian Devin Milner shares his thoughts on weeding. (Humor)

  • Double fold or double take? Book memory and the administration of knowledge

    Brabazon, T.
    Libri 52(1) (2002): 28-35 2002

    This paper investigates the debates encircling Nicholson Baker's "Double Fold: libraries and the assault on paper."

  • Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper

    Baker, Nicholson
    New York: Random House 2001

    Pleads the case for saving newspapers and books so they can continue to be read in their original forms.


Library weeding—policies


Library weeding—pre-2000 citations


Library weeding—questions of cost


Library weeding—reference collections


Library weeding—theory and practice


Bibliometrics


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

  • 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

  • Short on Space, Libraries Look to One Another for Solutions

    Howard, Jennifer
    The Chronicle of Higher Education October 7, 2013

    "[These] twin pressure points—too many print books plus new demands on library real estate—have spurred academic libraries to try a set of state and regional experiments to free up library space to suit modern learning styles and still make sure that somebody, somewhere, hangs onto books that make up part of the intellectual record, even if those books haven't circulated in years."

  • Re-Inventing Shared Print: A Dynamic Service Vision for Shared Print Monographs in a Digital World

    Stambaugh, Emily
    Against the Grain V25 N42013

    There are significant differences in the use of print and digital monographs perhaps creating a need for an alternative service vision.

  • Rethinking Collection Management Plans: Shaping Collective Collections for the 21st Century

    Demas, Samuel and Mary E. Miller
    Collection Management 37 (3-4) (2012):168-187 2012

    The authors offer practical advice on developing a collection management plan in a collaborative context.

  • Library Logistics: Archiving and Servicing Shared Print Monographs

    Lugg, Rick.
    Against the Grain June 24(3) (2012) June 2012

    The infrastructure for regional or national preservation is being built with the assumption of shared rather than individual responsibility.

  • Curating Collective Collections

    Demas, Sam and Mary Miller
    Against the Grain February 24(1) (2012) February 2012

    Elements of a good collection management plan include a framework for life-cycle management. What will be retained on central campus in open stacks, what will be transferred to special collections, what will be transferred to storage, what will be reformatted, and what will be withdrawn.

  • 21st-Century Collections and the Urgency of Collaborative Action

    ARL Fall Forum Proceedings October 2011

    A series of slide decks and video recordings.

  • Research Librarians Consider the Risks and Rewards of Collaboration

    Howard, Jennifer
    The Chronicle of Higher Education October 16, 2011

  • Shaping a National Collective Collection: Will your library participate?

    Demas, Sam and Wendy Lougee
    Library Issues 31(6) (2011)August 2011

    There is intense pressure on libraries to withdraw redundant print holdings that are accessible online. How does a campus administrator help to manage these challenges? How will the nation responsibly manage its enormous legacy collections in the years ahead?

  • Curating Collective Collections – Prospectus for a New ATG Column

    Demas, Sam
    Against the Grain January 23(6) (2011): 71 January 2011

    The aims of this new bi-monthly column—Curating Collective Collections—are to keep librarians current with issues and developments in shared print archiving, and to broaden the conversation about how we can collectively and thoughtfully re-select (and de-select) and care for our massive print general collections for which digital surrogates exist.

  • Less is more: Managing monograph collections in the 21st century

    UK Research Reserve (UKRR) 2011

  • Dare to Share

    Wellcome Collection Conference Proceedings September 2010

    Preservation Advisory Centre (UK)

  • OCLC Print Archives Disclosure Pilot - Final Report

    Beginning in late 2010, an ad hoc Coordinating Committee consisting of several individuals who were active in the shared print (print archiving) community began to explore ways in which libraries could use OCLC features and services to disclose retention commitments and support resource sharing for shared print resources. The Coordinating Committee defined and conducted an OCLC Print Archives Pilot Project to develop a recommended approach and to test and validate its basic functionality.

  • Regional and National Cooperation on Legacy Print Collections

    Kieft, Robert H. and Bernard Reilly
    Collaborative Librarianship1(3) (2009): 106-108 2009

    This reports on a meeting convened by the Center for Research Libraries on July 10, 2009, in Chicago for representatives of more than a dozen library consortia and other organizations with an interest in shaping a national approach to long-term preservation of and access to print collections.

  • Shared Print Policy Report

    Malpas, Constance
    OCLC Research 2009

    This report focuses on the joint agreements that memorialize shared intent by formalizing institutional commitments and terms in writing.

  • The Networked Library Service Layer: Sharing Data for More Effective Management and Co-operation

    Gatenby, Janifer
    Ariadne 56 July 30, 2008

    Janifer Gatenby identifies criteria for determining which data in various library systems could be more beneficially shared and managed at a network level.

  • Results of a Cooperative Collection Management Survey

    Nilges, Chip
    OCLC Slides - ARL Membership Meeting 2006

  • Print Preservation at the Local Level – The Five College Experience

    Bridegam, Willis. E.
    Library Collections, Acquisitions, & Technical Services 28(1) (2004): 29-38. 2004

    This paper discusses the development of this depository and considers regional needs for preservation of print materials.


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


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