Reference Weeding, 2015

The Trent Library has a substantial, sparsely-used collection of reference books on the Second Floor. Librarians, reasonably, tend to feel that a well-developed reference collection has inherent value, whether or not it is being used at the moment. The resource waits for future users, whose behavior we cannot predict.

Several factors have conspired to place this model in doubt, or at least subject to revision. First, reference materials are increasingly available online, and secondly, we need study space more urgently than we need books. This anathema to some of us, but it is a fact.

Beginning in February, removal of the Reference Collection will take place in several stages. In Stage One, staff will complete a careful weeding, removing any items that are deemed out-of-date, redundant, or not likely to be of use. Shelving will be re-arranged and  compressed, and a number of shelving units will be removed. It is anticipated that up to half of the Reference Collection will be withdrawn at this time. In Stage Two, a second weeding pass will identify items which should be retained by the Library. These will be removed and integrated into the general collection. In Stage Three, the remaining items will be reassessed and either integrated into the collection or discarded. The objective is to have all of the reference collection removed from its current location by September, 2015.

What happens to the items that have been removed from the Reference Collection? These will be made available by February 15, 2015 on the First Floor of the Library for perusal by students, staff and faculty. If you find something you like, it's yours, first come first served. There will be no limit on the number of books you can carry away. At the end of one month the remaining items will be sent to Peterborough Recycling, where they will begin a new life as packaging or recycled paper.

You can find a list of the reference books weeded to date here.