4.7 Updating the collection

From time to time the collection needs to reviewed. This may include weeding out (removing) some materials, and deciding what new subject areas or types of material to include.

It is best to review the collection once a year, setting aside a few days, depending on the size of the collection. The review should be carried out by the resource centre officer in consultation with his or her supervisor, members of the resource centre advisory committee and/or other users. The supervisor or advisory committee should take responsibility for deciding what to remove or add.

The task will be easier if a needs assessment has recently been carried out, and if older editions of materials are weeded out regularly when new editions arrive.

4.7.1 How to review the collection

Before you weed out or add any materials, make sure that you know what materials are available elsewhere, either locally, or via a document delivery service.

1. Remove any materials that are no longer suitable, such as those that are out of date, or those on subjects that are no longer of interest to users. You may be tempted to keep everything - resist the temptation! Focus on quality, not quantity.

2. Remove any dirty or damaged materials. They waste space and can hinder access to more useful materials. They can also create the impression that the resource centre is not cared for. If the material is important to the collection and a new copy cannot be obtained, the material can be kept in a strong (labelled) envelope to prevent further damage or loss of pages.

You may be able to sell discarded materials as waste paper, or you may be able to offer them to another organisation if they are in good condition and of interest to them.

3. Remember to amend records of materials that you have removed. Cross out records of weeded materials in the accessions register and write down the date that they have been weeded. Keep a running total of weeded materials. You will also need to amend or remove the catalogue cards.