William Jewell College is not a major research institution nor is its library a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). As other regional libraries provide for in-depth historical research, Jewell’s library collection needs to be continually evaluated in order to identify materials that have outlived their usefulness or for which no clear curricular purpose is evident so these materials can be withdrawn from the collection. The goal is to maintain an up-to-date, well-balanced, useful, and reliable collection to support the information needs of the Jewell community. Deselection, or weeding, is done as a conscientious effort to achieve a balanced and up-to-date collection suitable for Jewell and should be an ongoing process. Deselection within a collection is as important as acquiring materials and should be done according to the same principles and policies that determine selection. Significant amounts of material that no longer meet the needs of the Jewell community impede the efficient selection of appropriate material. Items in poor physical condition discourage use and detract from the general appearance of the collection. Outdated and inaccurate material obstructs use of the collection and threatens the value of their research. Unnecessary items left in a collection can weaken a library as much as, if not more than, insufficient acquisitions.
Several factors should be considered when deciding whether or not to withdraw materials from the collection, such as:
Responsibility for weeding falls to the librarians who use their judgment, subject expertise, and understanding of the current and future needs of the Jewell community to evaluate the collection. Weeding should be carried out on a routine schedule. The Library will also make a conscientious effort to involve the college community in deselection activities.
General Criteria for Deselection
The following criteria may be used in selecting materials for withdrawal in a deselection process.
Specific Criteria for Retention