Scotland's public libraries are nothing but practical when it comes to deselection


  • Katie Rowley
  • Rebekah Willson



weeding, collection development


This paper is based on results from qualitative research into Scotland’s public libraries collection development practices and the thoughts of library staff in regards to deselection (referred to in this paper as weeding). An open-text online survey promoted through professional newsletters, word of month, and social media, solicited rich, personal input from practicing library staff on the role, practice, and future of deselection in public libraries. From 36 responses, three main themes were developed: public perception, the role of governance, and continunity concerns. With pressure to provide the latest technology and published works for users, all in safe, usable spaces, Scotland’s libraries are weeding to remain relevant and responsive. Governance structures controlled policy and implementation of weeding practices, with respondents from Scottish public libraries overwhelming weeding via stock exchanges or with assistance from library headquarter teams/professional staff. The larger concern for collection development staff was having the budget, time and staff to make weeding a continuous, efficient process.  






Refereed Research Articles