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Weeding Policy

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Weeding Policy

1. Introduction

Regular weeding of library collections is required in order to remove outdated, superseded, damaged, or redundant materials to maintain the library collections in a status that is a) consistent with the development of academic programmes and research interests; b) up-to-date; and c) in a good physical condition.  Besides, this regular activity will liberate the shelving space for newly acquired library materials.  The Weeding Policy (“Policy”) guides the physical disposal of materials withdrawn from the library collections in a manner that is transparent and acceptable to the community of Lingnan University.

 

2. Criteria for Weeding

All library physical materials including, but are not limited to a) books; b) journals; c) newspapers; d) computer files (e.g. CD-ROM); e) audio-visual materials; f) microform materials; and g) maps can be the candidates for weeding in light of the following criteria, which will be taken into consideration without bias or personal preferences:

  • 2.1 Usage
  • Materials that are of no or low usage*, or have not been checked out in the recent 10 years.
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  • 2.2 Timeliness
  • Materials that are outdated, irrelevant or superseded.
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  • 2.3 Physical Condition
  • Materials that are badly deteriorated, damaged or worn out and thus are beyond reasonable preservation efforts.
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  • 2.4 Completeness
  • Materials consist of multiple volumes (e.g. series) that have over 50% irreplaceable missing items, a higher priority will be given for those volumes which cannot be used independently.
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  • 2.5 Duplicates
  • Materials that are replicated in digital formats with trusted perpetual access.
  • Materials with additional copies that are no longer required, a higher priority will be given to those copies that are in poor physical condition or have missing pieces which are beyond reasonable preservation efforts.
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  • 2.6 Format Obsolescence
  • Materials in obsolete formats that are no longer popular or incompatible with current technology, or they are available online in the library collections.
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  • 2.7 Out of Collection Scope
  • Materials that are out of the current scope of academic curriculum, or irrelevant to the mission of the University.
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  • 2.8 Gift
  • Materials that are donations or received as gifts can be disposed of within the terms of the agreement.

 

3. Materials NOT Suitable for Weeding

Materials listed below will be considered for long term retention in the library collections:

  • 3.1 Publications of Lingnan staff, students and alumni;
  • 3.2 Books under the “One Person One Book” scheme;
  • 3.3 Gifts / donations to the Library that are marked for permanent retention in the Library;
  • 3.4 Materials stored in the Lingnan University Archives or Special Collections;
  • 3.5 Materials related to the history of China, Hong Kong or Lingnan University;
  • 3.6 Materials with significant academic and archival value (e.g. the last physical copy in UGC-funded university libraries);
  • 3.7 Materials with historical significance in the field of literature, containing largely theory or relevant information not included in the newer editions, or those of local or University interests;
  • 3.8 Materials highly recommended by Lingnan staff or students for retention in the Library.

Any of the above materials that are rarely used will be removed from open shelves and kept in closed stack area, storage or other places considered appropriate by the Library.  Such items will be available on request.

 

4. Frequency of Weeding

Weeding activity will be conducted on an annual basis, and all materials should be reviewed at least once every 7 years as stated in the table below:

 

Collection Review Cycle
 
Year Collection
1 General & Serials Collections (Law & Business and Travel & Leisure)
2 General & Serials Collections (Social Sciences)
3 General Collection (Fiction)
4 General & Serials Collections (Computer and Science & Technology)
5 General & Serials Collections (Arts and Humanities)
6 Reference Collection and Audio-visual Collection
7 General & Serials Collections (Other than the above)
8 General & Serials Collections (Law & Business and Travel & Leisure) (2nd cycle)

General magazines and newsletters are weeded at 6-month to 1-year intervals, depending on their content and publication frequency, with exceptions to academic journals.

Local and overseas newspapers will be discarded within 1 month and 3 months respectively.

Besides as the regular activity, weeding may be carried out on an ad hoc basis.

 

5. Means of Disposal of Weeded Materials

Materials approved for weeding are not for resale.  They can be disposed of in the following ways:

  • 5.1 Offer to the interested staff and students of the University as personal copy for private study or research;
  • 5.2 Give to other libraries or institutions as gifts and exchange or donations;
  • 5.3 Discard according to University procedures if 5.1 and 5.2 above do not apply.

Records of all items that are disposed of through the above means will be kept in the current Integrated Library System.

 

6. Governance and Implementation

Weeding and disposal of materials from the library collections will be handled with great care.

This policy will be reviewed regularly or when it is deemed necessary by the Library and will be submitted to the Teaching, Learning and Information Services Management Board (TLISMB) for approval.

The Library is responsible for ensuring that the approved weeding is implemented effectively. Any item identified for weeding by the University staff, student or library professional staff will be sent to relevant academic departments if deemed appropriate for comments. The final list of weeding will be approved by the Chief Information Officer & University Librarian.

*Low usage: average checkout is lower than 2 per annum.