The Need to Weed

Collection Evaluation and Weeding

Jimi Waters - Harlem High School

Clean Up on Aisle 500! Weeding in the Science Dept.

I selected 570s-590s due to changes in the science department. Because Science is focusing on the STEM initiative (science, technology, engineering and math) many of the books we kept in large numbers in our science section are no longer used. Major projects have been changed and now books that flew off the shelf have started to collect dust.

Our county has also begun to transform our Media Centers into Learning Commons. We will no longer be required to house a certain number of books per student. A waiver has been signed allowing us to weed any and all irrelevant books no matter the copy count in our library.

Evaluation of Collection

Using the Destiny System I ran a report that included the publication year and circulation for my selected range for a five year period.


Total items - 123

Total Circulation - 17

Avg Publication year - 1995


Total items - 52

Total Circulation - 198

Avg Publication year - 2000


Total items - 120

Total Circulation - 103

Avg Publication year - 1998

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Bye Bye to the leaves and bugs!

Two major projects that have been at our school for the last 30 years are the Leaf Project and the Insect Project. The two projects were the motivation behind students checking out books in my selected range. With a focus on STEM and Literacy, these two projects have fallen by the wayside and caused a decline in circulation. Leaf guides and insect guides will be replaced with other titles more inline with the new initiatives.

SCSh9. Students will enhance reading in all curriculum areas

What to Weed - Columbia County School District

1. Worn and damaged titles and materials

2. Superseded editions, such as almanacs or statistical yearbooks. Different years of

the same annual should not appear on the shelf if the one updates the other.

3. Duplicates that are not circulating

4. Thoughtful weeds (See ―Specific Helps in Weeding‖ at the end of this section.)

5. Material containing information not easily accessible

6. Back issues of periodicals which are not indexed

7. Material that contains outdated, inaccurate factual content;

8. outdated interpretations, values and/or attitudes

9. Material for which reading level is inappropriate to the reading and/or interest

level of the students

10. Material that no longer supports the curriculum or is no longer in demand

11. Material that has not circulated in 3 to 5 years

12. Material that is condescending, stereotyped, patronizing or biased

Weeded Titles

1 - Titles that are from the 70s

Taxidermy Step by Step (1975)

A field guide to animal tracks (1975)

Grzimek's Animal life encyclopedia (1972)

In the shadow of man (1971)

2 - Titles with multiple copies from the replaced projects (reduce to 1-2 copies)

Insects, spiders and other terrestrial arthropods

Peterson's guide to insects of North America


Native Trees of Georgia

A field guide to trees and shrubs

3 - Low or no circulation

Wildlife and Plant (20 volumes)

Evolution: opposing views (reduce copies)

Genetics and heredity (reduce copies)

Disposition & Weeding for Columbia County Media Centers

Discard Procedures for Materials Identified as Weeds

1. In some instances, parts of discarded titles may be ―recycled‖. For example,

highly specialized articles may be placed in the vertical file; pictures may be used

for skill cards, book jackets may be used for displays, etc. However, most of the

weeds need to be physically removed from the collection.

2. Black out call numbers on the spines of print materials, remove all school

identification, and stamp ―DISCARD‖ across title pages.

3. Delete discarded items from the computer database

4. Run a report of deleted items

5. Purge deleted items. (It may be best to purge at the very beginning or end of the

school year so that statistical reports are accurate.)

6. Allow teachers to choose discarded books for their classrooms if desired. Box up

remaining books and send in a Warehouse Service Request for pickup.