The Weeding Handbook: A Shelf-By-Shelf Guide

The Weeding Handbook: A Shelf-By-Shelf Guide, by Rebecca Nvuk, Published by American Library Association in 2015, 196 pp.

Weeding is an inevitable task for every library, it is something that people either love or hate.  It is one of those responsibilities of the librarian yet so many others become increasingly concerned when they see books leaving the library.  Weeding is not solely based on the condition of the books but also circulations, publication years, content and relevance.  The book The Weeding Handbook: A Shelf-by-Shelf Guide by Rebecca Vnuk does a great job of giving the reader a good grounding in how and why to weed library collections.  She has a high profile in the library community and is currently best known as Editor, Reference and Collection Management at Booklist.

In this book, her goal is to inspire librarians to weed.  She does not attempt to reinvent the wheel but strives to give librarians the confidence that is needed to effectively weed a collection of any size.  She breaks down the daunting task of weeding as a continual project. Rebecca gives examples of monthly schedules focusing on specific areas to make the weeding process much more manageable.  She also provides some ideas of what to do with the weeded books.  In addition, there are special considerations given for youth collections.  One of the main points she communicates in this book is to make everyone aware of exactly what is happening and why it is important to weed.  This book provides shelf by shelf breakdowns with weeding suggestions based on the CREW Method (which stands for Continuous Review, Evaluation, and Weeding).  Once a weeding plan is put in place, it is also important to have a collection development plan.

This book talks about the importance of a collection development plan but also provides sample development plans for all types of libraries from public to school libraries followed by additional suggested reading and websites to assist in the weeding process.  This is a great quick read for any librarian that needs to start a weeding plan or to update a plan already in place.