Weeding Policy

The Wissahickon Valley Public Library serves a population of 35,410 between the main library in Blue Bell and the branch library in Ambler, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  The library is funded through real estate taxes, state aid, and donations. The professional staff (11) consists of the following: library director, Ambler branch librarian, cataloguer, 2 children’s librarians, reference/tech support librarian, community outreach librarian and 4 weekend reference librarians. Other senior staff members (5) include: a bookkeeper, 2 circulation supervisors, an administrative assistant and a tech support/library assistant.  Of the other 30 employees, there are 16 circulation desk library assistants, 10 pages, a tech support person, a book processing library assistant, book delivery person, and maintenance person.  There are also 45 regular volunteers. 

The size of the collection is 135,828 materials, including 15,592 audiovisual materials.  Patrons have access to 192 print serial subscriptions.  They also have Internet access to the Power Library Databases, Gale Contemporary Criticism, The Philadelphia Inquirer & Ambler Gazette Archives and downloadable audio books.  The Wissahickon Valley Library circulated 356,928 materials during the 2006-2007 fiscal year.  

Guidelines for Review

Local history is not weeded, all other materials should be reviewed using the MUSTIE guidelines.  Weed materials that are:

  • M = Misleading (or factually inaccurate)
  • U  = Ugly, (worn and beyond mending)
  • S  = Superseded (by a new edition or a better book on the subject)
  • T  = Trivial (of no discernible literary or scientific merit)
  • I   = Irrelevant to the needs and interests of the community
  • E  = The material may be obtained expeditiously Elsewhere through borrowing from another MCLINC or interlibrary loan

List of Suggested Steps in Weeding Process

  • Print a list of materials in the section that will be weeded that have not been checked out for 2 years if fiction, use CREW Formula for non-fiction.
  • Pull the materials from the list.  You may use a volunteer if one is available and willing.  
  • Physically examine materials to determine: Condition and Copyright date (non-fiction)
  • Apply the CREW Chart (Appendix A) to non-fiction materials and the Book Condition Chart (Appendix B) to both non-fiction and fiction materials to determine whether to keep or discard.  Consider whether an item is in a series when weeding fiction.
  • If necessary, consult H.W. Wilson’s catalogs for fiction and non-fiction to see if  the book belongs in the core collection.
  • Keep award-winning materials, but only reorder new, popular materials that have been damaged. 
  • Delete electronic record of material in online catalog.
  • Volunteers or staff stamp material “discard” and destroy barcode.

Discarded Materials

Delete electronic records for discarded materials before:  

  • Books considered appropriate for sale (good condition fiction and non-fiction) will be given to the Friends of the Library.
  • Books will be donated to charitable organizations upon their request.
  • Remaining books will be discarded and recycled at the discretion of the librarians.

Serials Policy

  • Print serials will be kept for 1-2 years.
  • Newspapers will be kept for 1-3 months.
  • Attach Appendix A Overview of CREW Formula for Non-Fiction
  • Appendix B Book Condition Chart

Pull for librarian’s review, any book that is in poor condition due to:

  • Worn Out Binding
  • Warping
  • Torn Pages
  • Missing Pages
  • Yellowed Pages
  • Stained Pages
  • Moldy Pages
  • Vandalism
  • Badly Printed Copy
  • Badly Printed Pictures