academic libraries, collection evaluation, collection management, deselection of library materials, weeding


Evaluating collections and ultimately removing content poses a variety of difficult issues, including choosing appropriate deselection criteria, communicating with stakeholders, providing accountability, and managing the overall timetable to finish projects on time. The Science and Engineering librarians at Brigham Young University evaluated their entire print collection of over 350,000 items within one year, significantly reducing the number of items kept on the open shelves and the physical collection footprint. Keys to accomplishing this project were extensive preparation, tracking progress and accountability facilitated by Google Sheets and an interactive GIS stacks map, and stakeholder feedback facilitated by a novel web-based tool. This case study discusses guidelines to follow and pitfalls to avoid for any organization that is considering a large- or small-scale collection evaluation project.

Original Publication Citation

Nelson, G. M., Goates, M. C., Pixton, D. S., Frost, M., & Broadbent, D. (2020). Collection weeding: Innovative processes and tools to ease the burden. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 102139.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Academic Librarianship




Harold B. Lee Library

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor