Vnuk’s updated weeding handbook

For Immediate Release
Mon, 06/06/2022


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing & Media

American Library Association


CHICAGO — Filled with field-tested strategies and adaptable collection development policies, the new second edition of Rebecca Vnuk’s “The Weeding Handbook: A Shelf-by-Shelf Guide,” published by ALA Editions, will enable libraries to bloom by maintaining a collection that users actually use. Vnuk has revised and updated her acclaimed text to keep pace with libraries’ longer-term shifts in collection development and access, such as a growing emphasis on digital collections and managing duplicate physical materials. She demonstrates how weeding helps a library thrive by focusing its resources on those parts of the collection that are the most useful to its users. Walking collections staff through the proverbial stacks shelf by shelf, this book:

  • includes a new “Tales from the Front” feature, providing real-life case studies of librarians working on weeding projects;
  • explains why weeding is important for a healthy library and how it can positively affect library budgets;
  • systematically walks readers through a library's shelves, with recommended weeding criteria and call-outs in each area for the different considerations of large collections and smaller collections;
  • offers easily adaptable, updated sample development plans which reflect the latest thinking in collection development;
  • advises readers on weeding problematic materials, such as those that include racist themes and depictions;
  • presents updated and expanded guidance on special considerations for youth collections;
  • addresses reference, media, magazines and newspapers, e-books, and other special materials;
  • shares guidance for determining how to delegate responsibility for weeding, plus pointers for getting other staff members on board; and
  • gives advice for educating the community about the process, how to head off PR disasters, and what to do with weeded materials.

Vnuk has a high profile in the library community as a librarian, consultant, workshop presenter, speaker, writer, and blogger. She is the executive director for LibraryReads, a nonprofit dedicated to adult books and readers’ advisory education. Rebecca has held a variety of positions in public libraries, including experience in collection development, department management, and readers’ advisory. From 2011 to 2018 she was the editor for collection management and library outreach at Booklist magazine. She was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2010 and was the 2010 PLA Allie Beth Martin Award winner for distinguished readers’ advisory service. You can find out more about her at

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