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Library Weeding Program

The Whittemore Library has begun a project of pruning the collection so that relevant and new materials will be available and easily found. This guide describes our processes and manner of obtaining input from faculty.

Collection Analysis 2021

Anna Popp, a Massachusetts Library System professional in Collection Analysis, performed an exhaustive analysis that the Access Services Librarian interpreted.  Anna and The Access Services Librarian met on 2/18/21 and 3/18/21 to go over what our needs were and the analysis that she performed. The study involved collection analysis using turnover (check out) rates and user demand to identify segments of the collection that need more material and/or areas that are overstocked with superfluous items.  The Excel data shows which parts of the collection are underperforming in terms of circulations.  As we weed and develop those parts of the collection we plan to see increased usage.  Judging from the process that Worcester State University went through with a similar collection that, like ours, had not been systematically weeded ever, the process will likely take three years.

Better World Books and the Internet Archive

The withdrawn books will be going to an organization called Better World Books via the Internet Archive. The Internet Archive scans items that they do not already have scans of for public viewing.  Afterwards, the books are sent to Africa with funding from Better World Books.  This alleviates our communities fears of losing access to our materials.  Giving the books to Africa insures that we are participating in a worthy cause of providing materials to underprivileged people who could use the reading material.

Weeding Criteria

Amongst our many reference materials used for weeding (below), we use well-known criteria in the profession called MUSTIE, which stands for Misleading and factually inaccurate; Ugly (work beyond mending or rebinding); Superseded by a new edition or better source; Trivial (of no discernible literary or scientific merit); Irrelevant to the needs and interests of your community; and Elsewhere (may be borrowed or found on-line)

Other Academic Libraries' Weeding Programs

Massachusetts Library System Weeding Information