weeding, collection development, serials, periodicals, rightsizing, academic libraries, strategic plan, repurposing space


Print serials collection development has long been a traditional role of academic librarians. However, in the last 20 years, academic libraries’ print serials ownership has declined and online access has begun to take its place, both partially due to concerns with flat or declining budgets as well as lack of space and the need to repurpose this limited space. Pittsburg State University’s Axe Library faces the challenge of balancing its print and electronic serials collections at a university whose programs sometimes do not draw enough on library resources. In an effort to create a meaningful discovery experience for the university community and better align Axe Library with the university’s strategic plan, the library has been rightsizing the serials collection, taking a thoughtful approach to serials collection development and weeding, reaching out to faculty for input, and repurposing space. The future goal is a PSU curriculum and research focused serials collection coupled with relevant services and resources to serve users’ needs. While significant progress has been made, there is a long ways to go.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Association for Research Libraries. Graph 4. Expenditure Trends in ARL Libraries, 1986-2015. http://arl.nonprofitsoapbox.com/storage/documents/expenditure-trends.pdf

Lugg, R. and Fischer, R. (2008). Future Tense -- The Disapproval Plan: Rules-Based Weeding & Storage Decisions. Against the Grain. 20 (6). Article 32. http://dx.doi.org/10.7771/2380-176X.2627

Crumpton, M. and Krautter, M. (2009) Weeding with a Repurpose. Proceedings of the Charleston Library Conference. Charleston, S.C.: Charleston Conference. http://dx.doi.org/10.5703/1288284314780

Johnson, P. (2013). Is weeding an unnatural act? Technicalities. 33 (5), 2-4. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com

Pope. Barbara M. (2016, September 23). Summary of Responses About Weeding of JSTOR Print Holdings. Message posted to http://listserv.nasig.org/scripts/wa-NASIG.exe?A2=ind1609&L=SERIALST&P=73932

Ward, S. (2015). Rightsizing the academic library collection. Chicago: ALA Editions.