Weeding Policy

The library’s primary mission is to meet current student research needs. Therefore, the Library strives to provide a collection designed for active use by our students and the campus community.

Accomplishing this goal requires a weeding policy with specific guidelines. Before being discarded each item is reviewed by the appropriate staff member based upon professional judgment and knowledge of the collection and curriculum. Librarians may at times look to faculty members for their recommendations.



GENERAL WEEDING CRITERIA

1. Superseded editions not containing unique information, data, or providing a historical reference not available in the most current edition.

2. Titles unused within a reasonable time period based on subject and scope of the work except for items considered classics or standard editions.

3. Duplicate titles unless a proven demand exists for multiple copies.

4. Materials which do not support the current College curriculum.

5. Items in poor conditions that are beyond reasonable preservation efforts.

6. Weeding of Internet and database resources is ongoing using the following criteria.

a A link is no longer available or maintained.

b Currency or reliability of the resource’s information has lost value.

c Another source offers more comprehensive coverage.



Specific Weeding Criteria and Schedule

CLASSISICATION: A (GENERAL WORKS) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: The latest edition of encyclopedias will be on reference. Earlier editions of encyclopedias may be withdrawn after five years. Older almanacs are replaced by newer editions.

CLASSIFICATION: B-BD, BH, BJ (PHILOSOPHY) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: Most philosophy books do not become outdated. Circulation is often low and is not necessarily a guide for weeding. Titles are retained unless superseded by more recent editions. Duplicate copies of low-usage books are weeded as are superseded editions.

CLASSIFICATION: BF (PSYCHOLOGY) 3 Years

Weeding Criteria: A 3-year weeding process is necessary to maintain a live, usable, and up-to-date collection. Such weeding affords renewed insight for the subject librarian into the strengths and weaknesses of the Behavioral Sciences collection.

CLASSIFICATION: BL-BX (RELIGION) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: Material does not generally become outdated. Books that are not used should be considered for weeding after five years. Superseded editions and unused duplicates are weeded. The collection should have current titles on each major religion as well as earlier editions of classic or standard texts (at least one copy), regardless of current curriculum usefulness

CLASSIFICATION: C (AUXILIARY SCIENCES OF HISTORY), D (HISTORY: GENERAL AND OLD WORLD) 5 Years

E, F (HISTORY: AMERICA)

Weeding Criteria:

1. The main factors include demand, accuracy of facts, and fairness of interpretation. Nonetheless, the history collection should be periodically reviewed and books should be judged for their continuing usefulness in the collection. In general, it is wise to keep:

a. Books that are too new to show use (purchased within the last five years).

b. Older books that reflect the expectations of another era, regardless of the accuracy of predictions made in them about the future. These are useful in lending perspective to present day expectations of our own future.

c. Otherwise inappropriate books if bibliography, appendices, maps, illustrations, or other supplementary features are still useful.

d. Earlier editions of classic or standard texts (at least one copy), regardless of current curriculum usefulness.



CLASSIFICATION: G-GR (GEOGRAPHY) 3 Years

Weeding Criteria: Books in this area become dated rapidly and should be weeded about every three years unless it has a significant amount of background or history information not available anywhere else. Beyond that, age, usage, size of area collection, physical condition, and number of copies determine decisions.

CLASSIFICATION: GV (ATHLETICS) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: Superseded rule books maintained only to last two editions. Old instructional material considered for discard if new items exist. Items in poor physical condition should be evaluated to see if rebinding is merited rather than purchase of more recent material. Books on sports should be weeded if they deal with personalities no longer of interest.

CLASSIFICATION: HB-HJ (ECONOMICS) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: This process considers timeliness of research, value of material, number of sources on topic, age of source, circulation, number of copies, whether part of a set, and physical condition. Consideration of economics interdisciplinary contribution to geography, history, management, social science and international affairs.

CLASSIFICATION: HHA (SOCIAL SCIENCE) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: Interdisciplinary needs are considered when weeding. Other factors considered are age, usage, extent of collection, years covered in information, and physical condition of materials. In these subject areas the source tend to be used in a supportive nature and as such should not be analyzed heavily according to circulation figures. Unless they have an historical approach, they are of little use after five years; books on finance are outdated sooner.

CLASSIFICATION: HM-HX (SOCIOLOGY) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: Materials may be withdrawn from the collection for the following reasons:

Age: Superseded by a later edition.

Physical condition: Materials that have pages missing, unreadable text, or poor quality paper and are not worth repairing, rebinding or replacing.

Usage: Duplicate copies that have not circulated once in two years.

Level of treatment: Too superficial or too advanced for college level use.

Subject matter: Older editions in a subject area that has low circulation activity and numerous other works.



CLASSIFICATION: J-JX (POLITICAL SCIENCE) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: Political science interrelates with other fields such as social science, international affairs, geography, history, aerospace sciences, and management. Consideration is then given to usage, size of collection, whether parts of a series, number of copies, age, timeliness or historical value, and physical condition.

CLASSIFICATION: K (LAW) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: Multiple copies, superseded works, some outdated topical books are weeded, but little else.

CLASSIFICATION: L (EDUCATION) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: Outdated monographs, superseded works, title not circulated, and duplicates are weeded. No biographical materials are discarded. Different editions of encyclopedia works may be kept.

CLASSIFICATION: M (MUSIC) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: Titles are retained, unless superseded by newer editions. Music books generally do not become outdated.

CLASSIFICATION: N (ART) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: Art books do not generally become outdated.

CLASSIFICATION: P, PE, PN, PR, PS, PZ, PA-PD, PF-PL, PQ, PT
(FOREIGN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURE) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: Age and use are not always accurate guides for weeding literature books. Some critical works (especially superseded editions) can be weeded by date and usage. Books listed in Essay and General Literature Index are retained. The fiction is screened against basic indexes or bibliographies such as the Short Story Index. Keep criticism of classic writers. Keep history unless superseded by better titles. Maintain multiple copies of classic literary works.

CLASSIFICATION: Q (SCIENCE) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: Materials may be withdrawn from the collection based on the following criteria:

Age: Superseded by newer editions, ephemeral material.

Usage: Not checked out in last five years, multiple copies with little or no use.

Physical condition: Missing pages, text unreadable, water damage, poor quality paper, or other factors that preclude rebinding.

Level of treatment: Too superficial for college level study; newer materials provide better or expanded explanations of complex subjects, clearer text styles, and better illustrations. New science discoveries, theories and techniques are continuously being updated.



CLASSIFICATION: QA 9-74, 78-939 (MATHEMATICS) 5 Years

Weeding criteria: Books older than ten years should be withdrawn unless they are "classics." Older editions are normally withdrawn when a new edition is received.

CLASSIFICATION: QA 75-77 (COMPUTER SCIENCE) 3 Years

Weeding Criteria: Material may be withdrawn from the collection based on the following criteria:

Age: Superseded by newer editions, ephemeral material.

Usage: Not used in last 2-3 years, copies with few or no uses.

Physical condition: Missing pages, text unreadable, water damage, poor quality paper, or other factors that preclude rebinding.

Level of treatment: Too superficial for college level study; newer materials provide better or expanded explanations of complex subjects, clearer text styles, and better illustrations.



CLASSIFICATION: QB(ASTRONOMY), QC(PHYSICS) & QD(CHEMISTRY) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: Books considered for discard include added copies printed more than 10 years ago not identified as "landmark" and those with more than two editions in that period. Older editions, if superseded, are discarded.

Materials on poor quality or brittle paper with no use during the past five years will be withdrawn if newer, better books with similar coverage are available.

Books by nondistinguished authors, in hard-to-read format, with very small print on topics well-covered by other better prepared monographs are discarded. Basic works of significant historical or literary value, such as Darwin's Origin of Species should be kept indefinitely.



CLASSIFICATION: QH-QR (BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: Material may be withdrawn from the collection based on the following criteria:

Age: Superseded by new editions. Materials have a shelf life of ten years.

Usage: Not used in last 3-5 years, copies with few or no uses.

Physical condition: Missing pages, text unreadable, water damage, poor quality paper, or other factors that preclude rebinding.

Level of treatment: Too superficial for college level study; newer materials provide better or expanded explanations of complex subjects, clearer text styles, and better illustrations.



CLASSIFICATION: R (MEDICINE) 3 Years

Weeding Criteria: Material may be withdrawn from the collection based on the following criteria:

Age: Superseded by newer editions, discoveries are constantly being announced and older materials may be very misleading or even dangerous.

Usage: Not checked out in last five years, copies with little or no use.

Physical condition: Missing pages, text unreadable, water damage, poor quality paper, or other factors that preclude rebinding.

Level of treatment: Too superficial for college level study; newer materials provide better or expanded explanations of complex subjects, clearer text styles, and better illustrations.



CLASSIFICATION: S (AGRICULTURE) 5 Years

Weeding Criteria: Material may be withdrawn from the collection based on the following criteria:

Age: Superseded by newer editions, ephemeral material.

Usage: Not checked out in last five years, copies with little or no use.

Physical condition: Missing pages, text unreadable, water damage, poor quality paper, or other factors that preclude rebinding.

Level of treatment: Too superficial for college level study; newer materials provide better or expanded explanations of complex subjects, clearer text styles, and better illustrations.



CLASSIFICATION: T (TECHNOLOGY, GENERAL) 3 Years

Weeding Criteria: Materials are withdrawn from the collection when newer editions are published or if newer material provides better coverage and treatment and if no usage in five years. Technology is making such rapid advances that materials over seven years old should be viewed with suspicion with obvious exceptions such as auto and appliance repair manuals, cookbooks, books on guns, clock, etc.


The Reference Collection: Weeding the reference collection requires some special considerations, especially as more reference collections include electronic resources. Use of printed materials is more difficult to determine since most reference works do not circulate. Most of the criteria for removal remain the same as for circulating collections, with the possible exceptions of use and currency. Some sources are considered reference "classics" and may be valuable for many years. Others (especially scientific, medical and technological works) may be quickly outdated. Many reference works are issued in revised editions, and previous editions can usually be removed. An exception is any new edition that supplements rather than replaces an older edition.

Audiovisual Materials: Non-print media should be weeded on a regular schedule just like print materials, although it can be harder to judge content and quality without spending a great deal of time watching or listening to each item. Keep in mind that non-print materials can be difficult to borrow through interlibrary loan. Other issues to consider when evaluating non-print materials include format and condition. Is the format still available? If not and the material are not replaceable, you may want to investigate transferring unique materials to current formats. Watch for broken cases, missing pieces, poor sound, or visual quality of tapes or CDs. Tapes that become twisted should be discarded. Videocassettes should be examined for wear after 100-150 circulation's; they will probably need to be replaced after 200-250 showings. Compact disks are relatively sturdy, but they can be chipped, cracked, or scratched.

New Jersey Materials: This is one area to weed lightly, with an eye for new editions or updated information. Keep as much as possible. Local history, materials by local authors or with local settings, memoirs, directories and oral histories should not be weeded.

Cumberland County College Library reserves the right to modify this information at anytime without prior notice.