Answered By: John DeLooper
Last Updated: Jun 23, 2023     Views: 257

Collection Development - Donation – Weeding Policy

Collection Development

Based on annual allotment of funds - the Library’s top priority is to support Lehman College’s undergraduate and graduate curriculum and instruction.  In addition, the Library acquires print, electronic, and multimedia resources to support faculty research and scholarship.  Our overall objective is to build a balanced and comprehensive collection of quality, authoritative, and current research, reflecting a multiplicity of viewpoints and perspectives that are accessible and discoverable.

Purchase of course textbooks and supplemental readings is limited by budget and number of students enrolled in the course.  Faculty is encouraged to provide a desk copy of the required text when the publisher supplies one - or may donate funds to Friends of the Library for an eBook copy of required and supplemental texts.

American Library Association states, A diverse collection should contain content by and about a wide array of people and cultures to authentically reflect a variety of ideas, information, stories, and experiences. 

Accordingly – the Library will develop a diverse collection by:

  • selecting content in multiple formats
  • considering resources from independent, small, and local Bronx and New York City self-published producers
  • seeking content created by and representative of marginalized and underrepresented groups
  • evaluating how diverse collection resources are cataloged, labeled, and displayed
  • when possible, including content in all languages used in the community served by the Library
  • when possible, consider and curate openly available resources.


The Library collects multimedia resources to support Lehman’s curriculum across all disciplines, foster research, as well as enhance student learning, cultural enrichment, and intellectual advancement.

The multimedia subject librarian welcomes purchase recommendations from faculty, though breadth is limited by the budget.

Selection criteria include:

  • Capacity to support curricula or faculty research
  • Potential active use by Lehman community
  • Faculty recommendation
  • Quality and cultural enrichment value

Generally, the Library does not collect commercial or feature films, unless they have cultural value or are being used within a course.  Faculty will be referred to their local public library or commercial resources for these products.  Most films based on literary works will be purchased.

The primary collection format is DVD - with VHS as a backup when DVD is not available.  Currently, we do not have capacity to support high definition formats or computer application software.

The secondary collection format is through Kanopy, a video streaming platform to which the Library subscribes.  Licensing of documentaries is limited by budget.  Individual films expire after a one or three year subscription.


The Library prefers titles published within the past ten years [five years for sciences and health sciences].  Before arranging for delivery of materials - donors should prepare a list of the number of titles including author, title, publisher, publication date, and condition.  The subject librarian reviews this list and determines whether or not material will be accepted.

Donors will receive an acknowledgement letter from the Library noting the number of books donated.  The Library reserves the right to incorporate material into its collection - or may sell or dispose of it at its discretion.

Weeding Guidelines

Library faculty systematically reviews stack holdings, electronic resources, and donations to evaluate what to acquire or discard in order to maintain a useful and current collection.  Weeding criteria may be modified for specific subject areas.

Replacements - New Editions – Binding – Mending

When identifying items for withdrawal – library faculty may decide whether to request replacements, newer editions, or recommend rebinding.  Faculty should maintain ongoing list of titles to order when budget permits.

Government Documents

When withdrawing Depository items [Technical manuals in Science, Health; Education Reports] - please inform Government Information Librarian, as there are guidelines for discarding.

Print Book Criteria

Content Is content of book relevant to collection goals?
Copyright Is content outdated?
Condition Is book extremely worn?
Circulation history Is book being borrowed? Run circulation history reports.
Currency Is newer information available?
Does Library offer another available format?
Can it be replaced by eBooks or online information?

Are multiple copies still circulated?

Is information available in another source?


Books to Consider Keeping

Books to consider for Withdrawal

  • Items with physical deterioration: missing pages, damaged bindings, water or mold damage
  • Superseded editions
  • Materials which no longer support curriculum, outdated, or contain inaccurate information
  • Excess duplicate copies. Two copies are sufficient unless proven demand exists. Exceptions are  classics and consistently taught literary works.
  • Old textbooks [more than 5-7 years old] - unless they are considered standards
  • Encyclopedia sets, computer software and manuals, training manuals, or damaged spiral-bound books
  • If uncertain, check circulation record or whether title is owned by another CUNY library

eBook Criteria

Content Is the content of eBook relevant to collection goals?
Copyright  Is content outdated? 
Circulation History Is the book being borrowed?  [Run reports, usage statistics]
Currency Is newer information available?
Does Library offer it in another available format?
Can it be replaced by online information?

Are multiple copies still circulating?
Is information available in another source?

eBooks to Consider Keeping

  • eBook purchase through Friends of the Library donation.
  • Digital donor acknowledgment entered in online catalog.
  • eBooks by Lehman faculty
  • Check Faculty Publications:
  • Classic titles
  • Titles on local history or by local authors
  • Titles on current syllabi
  • Biographical titles

eBooks to Consider for Withdrawal

  • Superseded editions
  • Material which no longer supports curriculum, outdated, or contains inaccurate information
  • Excess duplicate copies.  Exceptions are classics and consistently taught literary works.
  • If uncertain - check circulation/database record or whether e-title is owned by another CUNY Library.


ALA. 2020. Diverse Collections: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights,

E-Book Tip Sheets - Collection Development for E-Books by Anne Behler, June 2011

Hunter College-Weeding,

Public Library Association. 2013. Getting the Most From Donations.

ALA - Weeding Annotated Bibliography,

Georgia Public Library Service Collection Management Guide, January 2003

Akron-Summit County Public Library Collection Development Policy Approved December 13, 2018.