In order to maintain an up-to-date, useful collection, worn and obsolete materials are continuously weeded. Materials may also be withdrawn if they are little used or superseded by a new edition or better work on the same subject. Depth and breadth of varying degrees are desirable in various areas of the collection. The Collection Development Policy serves as a guide for weeding and maintaining the collection as well as for the selection of materials.
Titles are withdrawn from the library’s collection through systematic weeding by selectors or because of loss or physical damage. Materials that are withdrawn because of loss or damage are reported to the appropriate selector who decides whether the item should be replaced using the same criteria as for selection. Other factors applicable when deciding on replacements include the number of copies of a title the library owns, the availability of newer materials on the subject, the importance of the work in its subject area, its listing in standard bibliographies, and its cost. Audiovisual materials that are withdrawn will be replaced in most cases with new, popular titles, as these collections are designed to meet current interest.
Systematic evaluation and weeding of the collection is required of every selector in order to keep the collection responsive to customers’ needs, to insure its vitality and usefulness to the community, and to make room for newer materials. For this reason, subject areas should be reassessed for relevancy and currency every two years, at a minimum, although certain areas may require more frequent review.
Weeding identifies damaged items, ephemeral materials that are no longer used, out-of-date materials, extra copies that are not being used, and materials that are inappropriate for the collection. Weeding also helps a selector evaluate the collection by identifying areas or titles where additional materials are needed, older editions which need to be updated, and subjects, titles, or authors that are no longer of interest to the community. Titles can be checked against standard bibliographies in the subject to see if the items have historical or literary value. Holdings that are readily accessible in other libraries may also be considered when making weeding decisions. Withdrawn materials that are in good condition will be put in the book sale. Materials withdrawn from the Reference collection that retain informational value may be transferred to the circulating collection, or offered to other libraries.
Approved by the Haverford Township Free Library Board of Trustees 3/19/03