Monday, April 9, 2018

Weeding Handbook: A Shelf-By-Shelf Guide

Vigil, Sharon

Vnuk, R. (2015). Weeding handbook: a shelf-by-shelf guide. The basics [Chapter 1]. (pp. 1-20). Retrieved from


The Weeding Handbook: A Shelf-By-Shelf Guide is published by the American Library Association and was written with the goal of giving the reader a “good grounding of how and why to weed library collections.” The first chapter of this book provides a basic overview of the weeding process and includes a detailed step-by-step guide. It also includes frequently asked questions about weeding and retention and weeding guidelines that can be adopted and adapted to fit the needs of any library. This chapter offers a lot of good information about weeding and is a great resource for library staff who are unfamiliar with the weeding process. I did not have a chance to read the remaining chapters, but I plan on doing so in the near future.


I don’t have any experience yet with weeding, but after reading this chapter, I have a much better understanding of what weeding entails. This book appears to be very comprehensive and concise. I also found this book to be rather humorous. For example, in response to the following question, “How do you justify weeding to patrons when they complain that your budget is going up?” the author refers to the “Cart of Shame,” which is “literally, a bookcart you use to store some of your worst discards.” She gives some examples of specific books that obviously needed to be discarded. One of these examples was a book on housekeeping, circa 1960, which points out the advantages of having a dishwasher so that the “lucky housewife” will be able to save time. In the future, when I am tasked with weeding a collection, I plan on using this book to guide me through the process.  

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