Skip to Main Content

Weeding: Weeding at the UFV Library

This guide provides an outline of weeding policies at the UFV Library.

UFV Library Collection Policy

11. Discards: In order to keep the collection current and of a reasonable size, there must be regular weeding. Obsolete items, damaged items, duplicate items where demand no longer requires multiple copies, and items which have not circulated for a number of years, may be weeded. Weeded items are donated to other institutions, sold or otherwise disposed of. Weeding is done on an on-going basis, particularly in the case of materials superseded by new editions. Responsibility for weeding lies with the librarians, the final decision being the Library Director's.

Faculty Involvement in the Weeding Process

Some types of weeding may be conducted without faculty consultation. This includes withdrawal of material based on poor condition, multiple copies, multiple editions, being obviously outdated, or obsolence of format.

Larger scale weeding projects are conducted as time permits or space needs arise.  Librarians will identify potential candidates for weeding based on criteria such as date added to the collection, date of last use, number of circulations, and number of copies. Faculty members in the appropriate departments will be notified to review the list and make a request to retain specific items.

Lists will be posted to this Libguide for a period of two months before weeding is undertaken.

Disposal of Materials

Discarded items may be handled in a variety of ways, depending on their nature. Options include:

  • Adding to Booksale cart.  Proceeds are used to purchase new items for the collection.
  • Sending to Better World Books, a vendor that resells books to support Literacy Initiatives, while returning a percentage back to the library.
  • Recycling
  • Offering to faculty


The goal of the UFV Library collection is to support the educational programs offered at UFV.  This includes material collected to support courses, general academic material, Heritage collection material related to the Fraser Valley and material to support major research initiatives of the institution. 

As a primarily undergraduate institution, our collection should meet the needs of undergraduate students in terms of recency, relevancy, depth of coverage, academic level and applicability to their courses.

Weeding is a natural part of collection development. We apply skill, knowledge and resources to our decisions to build the collection and therefore to ensure a relevant, dynamic and valuable collection we must use those same skills, knowledge and resources to weed materials that are dated and unused.

Regular weeding improves the appearance and use of the collection, by making the collection more relevant to students and faculty.  Space is also a large consideration, as shelf space in the stacks is limited and room must be made for new materials acquired each year.

Criteria for Weeding

Condition – Items are evaluated on an ongoing basis regarding physical condition and suitability for continued circulation.  Candidates for weeding may include the following criteria:           

  • Torn covers or pages
  • Loose, frayed or broken bindings
  • Missing pages
  • Stains
  • Excessive underlining or highlighting
  • Excessive yellowing of pages
  • Overall fragility

 All items discarded due to condition are evaluated for reordering.

 Multiple Copies - If multiple copies exist on one or more campuses, circulation counts and date of last circulation will be examined to determine the necessity of keeping all copies. Items with no recent demand may be weeded.

 Multiple Editions - Older editions of textbooks or monographs will be considered for weeding unless the material is still relevant and current and high demand exists. In general, only the most recent editions will be kept.

 Content – Content is an important criteria for weeding.  Librarians consider the following:

  • Outdated content which no longer reflects current thinking or practice, or is inaccurate and dated.
  • Inappropriate academic level, such as trade or popular press publications
  • Lack of fit for our courses and curriculum
  • Newer, better or more complete content on the same topic is available in the collection

 Age alone is not a criteria for weeding. Obsolence rates vary between disciplines. Material in the health or computer sciences may date very quickly, while seminal works in the humanities do not.

 Use – Circulation counts and the date of last circulation may be used to identify potential candidates for weeding. Material which has been recently added to the collection may still have future use, so wll be retained.  Lack of use alone is not a criteria for weeding. Works which as considered classics or core works in their field will usually be retained.

 Incompleteness – Partial sets or incomplete runs of materials may be considered for weeding.

 Online Availability – Periodicals, reference works, government publications, statistical reports and audio-visual material may be considered for weeding if a stable, usable online version is available.

 Obsolescence of Format - Material may be discarded if the format can no longer be accessed or played by the majority of students and faculty. Examples include:

  • VHS Tapes
  • Audio-Cassettes
  • Floppy or 3.5 inch Computer Discs
  • CD’s no longer compatible with current software

Criteria for Retention

The UFV Library is committed to building a unique collection of materials reflecting our local community. These items include:

  • Works by local or faculty authors
  • Works related to our University region
  • Unique important works for which no copies exist in the region

About This Guide

UFV Librarians can sign into this Libguide page to see examples of past weeding projects.

The University of the Fraser Valley is situated on the traditional territory of the Stó:lō peoples. The Stó:lō have an intrinsic relationship with what they refer to as S’olh Temexw (Our Sacred Land), therefore we express our gratitude and respect for the honour of living and working in this territory.

© , University of the Fraser Valley, 33844 King Road, Abbotsford, B.C., Canada V2S 7M8