The library's collection receives ongoing inventory, shelfreading, and weeding to maintain it in the best possible condition and to meet the demands of space limitations and the needs of the university.

Collection Review
As part of their responsibilities subject selectors are expected to regularly review the materials in their areas. The review is intended to be a hands-on method of improving the quality of the collection as well as gaining specific knowledge about the collection. Elements of the review will include:

  • marking items for binding or repair
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • weeding
  • reviewing circulation history
  • targeting items for problem resolution

Binding and/or repair is considered for those damaged items not slated for withdrawal from the collection. Depending on the ability of the staff to meet binding or repair needs, binding may be done in-house or through the library's current book/periodical binding service contractor. The cost of binding and/or repair should be compared with the cost of buying a replacement copy.

Titles in the collection which are reported missing will be promptly replaced if still needed for teaching or research and if they are still obtainable. Decisions regarding replacement are made by the subject selectors.

A systematic program of continuous weeding of those items which are duplicates, out-of-date, no longer covered in the curriculum, superseded by more relevant materials, or in poor physical condition will take place with the assistance of the subject selectors and the academic departments. Exceptions to general weeding policies are made for materials received on a contract depository basis which allows for discard only under specific terms of the contract, or where the library is committed by policy to the preservation of all materials in a given field. The latter includes government documents and some special collections and individual gifts.

The following criteria are considered when weeding:

  • poor content or indexing
  • a subject no longer within the scope of the collection development policy or no longer related to the curriculum
  • obsolete information or theories
  • superseded editions
  • inappropriate level
  • poor physical condition (unless suitable for replacement)
  • duplicate copies, unless multiple copies are justified by demand
  • older outdated editions unless they contain valuable information not found in later editions
  • use of material
  • age can be considered a factor in certain subjects where
    information is constantly changing or where currency is a factor (ten years as a general rule).

Care is taken not to weed the classic works in a subject area or material useful for its historic value

Withdrawn Materials
There are two options for materials that are weeded or withdrawn from the collection. The first is to offer the weeded material, as a gift, to other governmental agencies, libraries or institutions that may consider the material valuable to their missions. The second option is to discard the materials following guidelines for the disposition of state property (which may include sale).

Withdrawn reference books will be disposed of in one of the following ways:

  • offered to Polk County libraries
  • offered for sale
  • discarded to recycling.