I recently read Crew: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries as recommended by a resource list from NC State Convention and Anne McEowen. This was chock full of information I wished I had used the last time I weeded. We do not weed on a regular basis, maybe we should be. What is your practice in your library?
Weeding is really a continuing process in that whenever we find something in our collection that needs to be weeded, we do so at that time. A concentrated effort in weeding is done at least once a year.
We keep our church library open each day of Vacation Bible School and spend that time weeding and reading the shelves. Often the parents of the children attending VBS will drop in, and we will get their input on the books we think should be withdrawn. Of course, throughout the year we try to keep our eyes peeled for outdated material and unattractive and tattered books.
Weeding should take place when circulation happens. When a book is returned it should be examined before placing it on the shelf. If it is damaged, repair. If it is out-dated, delete. If it needs to be replaced, replace. This makes the job of weeding so much faster. Weeding must be done annualy to really keep the library looking good and with up-to-date materials. But, if you take the time each week you will find the weeding goes much more quickly.
I can really recommend weeding continually, as Rita said, as a part of circulation before the book is reshelved. I'm sorry to say we haven't been diligent in doing this. When we were about halfway through inventory we had a computer paper box full of books to be repaired and that's not all. It is overwhelming. I'll make sure this doesn't happen again.
We weed the adult fiction shelves on a regular basis, so we can have room to keep up with the current items. Circulation doesn't work here, as we are taking off what is NOT being read.
The other areas of the library are reviewed on a rotation. Condition always is a main reason for removing an item. As budget allows, we update items that have been revised, but sometimes we must keep the older copy just to maintain the reference area.
We try to maintain the religious reference areas by replacing as new items are published. If nothing recent has been published, we will keep a quality reference no matter what the c. date. We have seminary students that use these items in-house and never check them out.
We try to weed once a year usually starting the first of the year until we are satisfied that we have our library stocked with fresh looking books again. Usually every year there will be some, maybe many books that have suffered some abuse and need to be replaced with new materials. Darlene Earnhardt
Our weeding generally happens when the shelves start to get crowded. I have to be in the mood for it because it is very difficult for me to dispose of "my children". However, when I start to discard, I have no problem making decsions about what stays and what doesn't.