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Policies: Collection Weeding Guidelines

This guide provides information regarding the policies and procedures that guides LLC operations at Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Collection Weeding Guidelines

In addition to acquiring new materials, collection development involves identifying and withdrawing selected resources that are no longer useful in order to ensure that students and faculty have access to accurate, up-to-date and relevant information in their fields of study. 

The most significant factors in making weeding decisions are the counsel from teaching faculty and the professional judgment of librarians. A variety of other factors must also be considered when weeding subject areas, including the library’s role in specific academic programs; needs and requests of library users; available shelf space; the library’s budget for buying new resources; cooperative agreements with other libraries; holdings in centralized databases; and efficiency of interlibrary loan. 

Circulating Collection 

Deselection should be monthly or quarterly at each campus to ensure that all LC subject areas are reviewed. It is recommended that full-time and part-time librarians make final decisions for deselection, and that library staff assist with processing withdrawals.  

Audio-Visual (AV) Collection 

Weed the AV collection in conjunction with physical books.  

Electronic Book (E-book) Collection 

Weed the E-book collection in conjunction with physical books. Depending on where and how the e-books were acquired, weeding will primarily mean removing the item from the library's online catalog. If the library owns the electronic file, as opposed to paying for a subscription, the file may need to be deleted from a server. 

Materials Supporting Accredited Programs  

See Appendix 4 

Reserve Items in Collection 

Items are placed on reserve at the request of faculty each semester and returned to the Circulating Collection or to the faculty member (if a personal item) at the end of term date. Some items purchased for the collection by the Library may be placed on Reserve for in-house use only and withdrawn in conjunction with the Circulating collection. 

Criteria for Deselection (“Weeding”) 

Along with the same criteria used to select new materials, general criteria for retaining, replacing, repairing or deselecting include:  

  • Availability of item from alternate source or location 

  • Feasibility, cost of repair  

  • Historical significance, interest, or value  

  • Physical condition  

  • Relative usefulness of item  

  • Space considerations  

  • Superseded, inaccurate, or out-of-date content  

  • Usage, or years since last checkout 

Guidelines Table 

The following formula and table are suggestions to guide decisions for deselection: year of latest copyright/years since last checkout/MUSTIE factors. MUSTIE is an acronym which is applied to a material and indicates when an item should be evaluated for removal from the collection. 

Misleading and/or factually inaccurate 


Superseded by a new edition or better source 

Trivial (of no discernable literary or scientific merit) 

Irrelevant to the needs and interests of your campus 

Elsewhere (the material is available as an eBook or at other campuses) 

An “X‟ in the formula denotes historical significance, interest, or value overrides usage of item. 





General Works 


General encyclopedias: 5/3/MUSTIE. Stagger replacement sets over a seven-year period. General statistics: 2/X/MUSTIE. Almanacs are seldom of much use after two years. Add one, discard one every year, keeping only the last three years in the collection. 

Philosophy Psychology Religion 


Replace works on clinical, comparative, and developmental psychology within eight years. Logic and ethics: 10/3/MUSTIE. Replace worn classics with attractive new editions. Religion: Include timely and comprehensive information on the six major international religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Taoism. Use 5/3/MUSTIE for areas of rapid change. 

C, D, E, F 

History American history 


Main factors: demand, accuracy of facts, and fairness of interpretation. Consider discarding personal narratives and war memoirs in favor of broader histories, unless the author is a local person, or the book is cited in a bibliography as having outstanding style or content. 



Include oversized atlases when evaluating this category. 

Social Sciences 


Ensure that controversial issues are represented from all viewpoints and that information is current, accurate, and fair. Discard career materials after five years; pay close attention to revisions in standard test books (GED, ACT, etc.). 

Political Science 


5/3/MUSTIE for topical books; judge historical books more based on use. 



Replace when more current data become available. Never keep superseded editions. 



Keep historical materials only if used. 

M, N 


Fine Arts 


Keep all basic materials, especially histories. Replace with new editions when they become worn and unattractive. 

Language, Literature 


Keep classical authors and dictionaries of major foreign languages and any other languages taught. Literature:  X/X/ MUSTIE. Keep basic materials, especially works and criticism of classical authors; discard minor authors no longer read. Collaborate with English faculty. 


10/3/ MUSTIE 

Pay particular attention to physics, environmental issues, and astronomy sections with respect to currency. Keep basic works of significant historical or literary value, such as Charles Darwin's classic Origin of Species, or Michael Faraday's Chemical History of a Candle. Geology books (X/3/MUSTIE) should be kept indefinitely, or until superseded by newer editions. Anatomy and physiology (X/3/MUSTIE) change very little. 





Replace older materials on algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus with revised editions. Computers: 5/3/ MUSTIE. Works on computers are seldom useful after three years. Works on software have an even shorter life span. 


5/3/ MUSTIE 

For health-related items such as PDR and diseases and conditions, most recent year or within 5 years. For Health Science disciplines, as a rule keep within 5 years except in certain disciplines where updates are less frequent. Exam guides should be most current, within two years or less. Materials on fast changing fields of research, such as AIDS, genetics, cancer, and infertility: 2/X/MUSTIE.  

Agriculture Forestry 

5/3/ MUSTIE 



5/3/ MUSTIE 

View any materials over five years critically. Check closely for outdated photography techniques equipment. 

U, V 

Military Sci, Naval Sci 


Include veteran topics of interest, particularly veteran-students, and local history of naval bases. 

Biblio. Library Science 


Bibliographies seldom of value after 10 years from date of copyright. Discard library science materials that do not conform to current, acceptable practice. 




These are weeded at the discretion of the campus libraries.  

Disposal of Withdrawn Items 

All last copies (in the state) withdrawn from an FSCJ library should be offered to Florida Academic Repository (FLARE), depending on the condition of the book.  

Faculty/program managers should be consulted about grant-purchased materials. 

It is at the discretion of the faculty librarian and LLC manager to contact the appropriate subject faculty with regards to withdrawn items that were purchased by the library. 

Withdrawn items may be offered to the larger campus community (all faculty, staff, and students) or to outside agencies e.g., Better World Books, at the discretion of the campus library. Damaged and unwanted items may be discarded or recycled. 


Last Updated 5/4/2021