Weeding Procedure

The physical restraints of the library require that some older items are discarded to make room for new items. The following guidelines are designed to serve as a backdrop to the process of identifying items which may be suitable for discarding.

All decisions to discard are made by members of the library professional staff. The staff will use discretion based on experience, areas of expertise and professional skills in making a determination of which items to ultimately keep or discard from the collection. The Director or his/her designee is responsible for the final decision of items to add or remove form the collection.

Effort should be taken in weeding to maintain at least one copy in the MaineCat system. When a statewide last copy policy is established, MSL will support that policy. Items which otherwise meet the criteria for weeding will be retained MSL holds one of 3 or fewer copies left in the MaineCat.

Defined Weeding Criteria

Weeding of materials will be based on the >Crew Guidelines, developed by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The following explains each item of the system:

  1. The first figure refers to the years since the book's latest copyright date (age of material in the book.) Unless otherwise noted the default date to be considered for weeding is ten years;
  2. The second figure refers to the maximum permissible time without usage (in terms of years since its last recorded circulation.) Unless otherwise noted the default years without circulation to be considered for weeding is five;
  3. The third refers to the presence of various negative factors, called MUSTIE factors:
    • M = Misleading (and/or factually inaccurate)
    • U = Ugly (worn and beyond mending or rebinding)
    • S = Superseded (by a truly new edition or by a much better book on the subject)
    • T = Trivial (of no discernible literary or scientific merit)
    • I = Irrelevant to the needs and interests of your community
    • E = The material may be obtained expeditiously Elsewhere through interlibrary loan or reciprocal borrowing.

Next: Collection Development & Weeding by Dewey Class