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Discovery Services Procedures: Weeding Policy

"How to" documents for OCLC, Alma, and general Discovery Services Procedures.

Weeding the General Collection

Scope: This policy is to be used to assist subject selectors with weeding the collections. Relevant historical materials remain in the main collection for research in any academic program. Weeding is necessary to remove repetitive materials that are not needed for research. Both the content and the condition of materials must be considered. This policy does not replace the Withdrawal Policy. Materials identified for weeding are withdrawn using the Withdrawal Policy.

  1. Purpose: To keep the collection in good condition and to assure that we own current information for all academic programs.
  2. Definition: Use this policy when reviewing materials in the main part of the collection. Reference, Special Collections, and Media and Microforms may have additional policies that may be used in addition to or in place of this policy.

Criteria for Review of the Collection

  1. Physical condition. Books should be in good condition and suitable for multiple Access Servicess; brittle books are not in good physical condition. If an important book is in poor physical condition, the selector should determine if it is replaceable; in some cases, a book may be kept in poor condition and moved to Special Collections if it cannot be replaced.
  2. Multiple copies. In most cases, duplicate copies are not needed. Check for heavy Access Services on the Access Services slip. For important titles, heavily used titles, or titles with special consideration, two or more copies may be retained.
  3. Importance. Use a current standard bibliography of the discipline for assistance in determining what older titles are considered classics or are still important in the discipline.
  4. Age. Disciplines vary with regard to the importance and relevance of newer or older materials. The selector should define the age criteria for various types of materials in a specific discipline.
  5.  Classification and level.
    1.   Consider the level at which the discipline is taught at UTEP: undergraduate minor or major, master's degree, or Ph. D. More vigorous weeding should be performed for a discipline in which only a minor or a few classes are offered.
    2. If the Library of Congress classification is not relevant to programs offered at UTEP, the collection should not be developed to research level. Old books and non-circulating books need not be retained. Materials serving to satisfy general interest in the topic are sufficient. Examples: agriculture, naval science.


  1. Books selected for weeding should be reviewed by the faculty liaison. If there are only a few (1-50), the selector can make a list of them and send it to the liaison for review and approval. If there are more, the faculty member should be invited to come and review them before final deselection. If the liaison fails to approve a list or review books after one month, assume tacit approval and send the books for processing.
  2. Books approved for weeding should be placed on a book truck and taken to Cataloging for withdrawal.

Subject Guide

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