What to consider for weeding books:

  1. Physically damaged materials (including water, ink, pen damage), not suitable for repair or rebinding.
  2. Books which have not circulated in 3 years and are NOT classics.
  3. Books with technical information which is outdated or inaccurate.
  4. Unattractive books – old style, poor pictures.
  5. Duplicate titles of books unless there is high circulation or they are used often.
  6. Superseded editions – almanacs or yearbooks, replace annuals when one updates the other.
  7. Dated books popular for a short time span, such as specific biographies and those of events not historically important.


Dewey Numbered Books

  • 000
    • Generalities - Value determined by use. Most books of Bibliographies little value after ten years from date published.
    • Library Science
  • 100 - Philosophy - Value determined by use. Keep Ethics philosophical systems and discard superseded Psychology works in philosophy and out-of-date psychological descriptions and problems.
  • 200 - Religion - Value determined by use. Collect information on the many different religions and sects. Discard propaganda involving theological studies and biased works.
  • 300
    • Social Sciences - Value determined by use.  Discard outdated social issues not of historical value as well as biased, controversial issues.
    • Politics and Economics - Dates quickly and of little value if older than 10 years.
    • Law - Replace any as soon as law is updated or changed.  Must be kept current
    • Education - Keep historical material if it is used. Replace most other works after ten years, as well, as discredited theories of education. Discard career materials after three to five years.
    • Folklore - Keep standard works. Value determined by use.
  • 400 Language - Keep basic materials. Discard old grammars and foreign language books that are not being used.
  • 500 Pure Sciences - Keep books on botany and natural history and weed others after five years, especially those with obsolete information.
  • 600 - Applied Science - Most outdated after ten years.  Pay special attention to discarding those on space technology, radio, television, mechanics and medicine except where they are of historical value.
  • 700 The Arts - Value determined by use. Keep basic works on music, dance and fine arts. Update when new editions having better information and illustrations are available. Keep stamp collecting books updated. Discard sports and recreational works as readers’ interests change or as they are updated.
  • 800 Literature - Value determined by use. Keep history and literary criticism until superseded by more authoritative works. Keep works of local authors. Discard works of drama and poets no longer used.
  • 900
    • History - Do not discard Canadian or Local Histories. Discard those with inaccurate, obviously biased information, as well as poorly or unfairly interpreted works.
    • Travel & Geography - Discard after five years. Weed continuously those of countries undergoing constant change such as Africa.
    • Biography - Usage determines value. Discard those without permanent interest except those Canadians of special interest.
  • Special Books:
    Fiction - Weed old-fashioned, worn, dated titles or those not circulating for three to five years. Keep all “classics” as space allows. Replace classics with more new attractive editions.