Monday, April 9, 2018

The Art of Weeding

Smith, Cassandra

Chant, I. (2015). The art of weeding. Library Journal, 104(11), p. 34-37.

Article can also be found here:


This article explains the importance of weeding and explains criteria, steps, and tips of successful weeding to maintain a healthy collection. Similar to a garden, a library needs regular maintenance to flourish. Nuggets of wisdom in the article include:
“Those shelves hold a lot of junk that has to make way for the new titles getting published every day.”
“When people can browse the shelves without having to sift through older material they’re not interested in, they’re more likely to find something they are looking for.”
“When ordering material, having an end-of-life-plan for it is essential”
The article also suggested doing continual weeding everyday rather than one big project once a year. One person referred to weeding as “selecting for the book sale.”


Many people are nervous when it comes to pulling materials from the collection. But this article helps puts many of their common concerns at ease. There isn't enough physical space to continually add to a collection. People will have a better experience browsing the shelves if it isn't cluttered with outdated, battered, or irrelevant information. Make room for the new stuff by clearing away the old. Sometimes books are still in decent condition, but aren't (for various reasons) circulating any longer. These titles would be better off sold or made into art than taking up precious realty on the library shelves.

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