Collection Management Policy

This policy outlines Book Bunk’s guiding principles on managing the collections housed at the McMillan Memorial Libraries’ on Banda Street, Eastlands and Kaloleni. They include instructions on collection review, acquisitions, weeding, library management systems and archive management. 

The policy covers materials in all formats and is subject to annual review. The libraries’ collections are reviewed every other year. 


Librarians across the three libraries together with Book Bunk’s Acquisitions Coordinator will review the collection to ensure that:

  • Materials held at the library are relevant, accessible and  frequently used by readers.
  • Shelves in the libraries are fully optimised.
  • Damaged or obsolete materials are either removed, replaced or repaired.


Print Materials

The following print items will be retained by the library:

  • Titles in good condition that are still relevant to the readers.
  • Latest edition of titles.
  • A copy of superseded titles in areas of research.
  • Historical, rare or classic titles.
  • Items on high demand as determined by the circulation statistics.
  • Old/Outdated materials deemed to be of historical value.

In order to ensure that shelves in the libraries are fully optimised, materials with low demand that have been selected for retention will be relegated to closed access storage. Access to these materials will be provided upon request.


This format includes: CD-ROMS, DVDS, videocassettes, audiocassettes, Blu-Ray, audio-books, e-books, etc.

The following items will be retained by the libraries:

  • The latest edition of e-books and audio books.
  • An e-resource which replaces its print equivalent and continues to be relevant.
  • Digital materials that are of historical importance.cAll titles of historical value which are potentially useful for research as well as items with evidence of recent use will be retained. 


Print Materials

Print materials will otherwise be considered for disposal under the following circumstances:

  • Obsolete reference works of no historical interest.
  • Copies of books superseded by later editions and of no historical interest.
  • Damaged materials not worth repairing or which cannot be repaired.
  • Duplicate copies of titles with low circulation.
  • Factually inaccurate/misleading materials.


Withdrawn items may be disposed of in the manner deemed most suitable by the Library. This includes:

  • Donation to other libraries.
  • Recycled/art installations.
  • Donated or sold to individuals such as library users, the general public and book collectors. 



  1. Multimedia materials that were received as a supplement to another resource will be discarded when the other resource is discarded.
  2. Resources which are available elsewhere.
  3. Titles that are damaged and cannot be repaired
  4. Multimedia resources that have become technologically redundant. 
  5. Titles with little to no usage. 
  6. Content and/or indexing of the electronic resource have been superseded by another, preferred, electronic resource. 
  7. Post cancellation access to content. 
  8. Technical requirements to maintain the electronic resource outweighs the need for the resource.



The goal is to supplement the library’s current collection with materials that are focused on the local and also explore others that explore other worlds. In order of priority, we strive to create a collection of works created by; 

  1. Kenyans
  2. East Africans
  3. Africans, people of African descent and the African Diaspora
  4. People of Colour (PoC)
  5. Progressive thought leaders and creatives from all over the world 


The collection housed in the McMillan Memorial Library and its branches should be reflective of the core audiences and activities of that particular branch. 

The collection should feature stories from a point of view that is:

  • Diverse
  • Positive when possible and
  • Balanced when not
  • Solutions-oriented
  • Creative
  • Current
  • Popular / highly requested


Categories of content that we wish to include in this revised collection include;


  1. Contemporary fiction, non-fiction and history authors
  2. An African women writers’ section
  3. African poetry section
  4. A library of African music
  5. Popular international fiction and non-fiction
  6. Children’s books featuring PoC 
  7. Young Adults’ collection
  8. Curriculum texts (as approved by Kenya’s Institute of Curriculum Development)
  9. Activity books for children and adults
  10. Disability-enabled books (blind, deaf/hard of hearing other special needs)
  11. Encyclopedia and general information books. 
  12. Audiobooks and EBooks.



Why do we Weed?

A library must continually withdraw items from the collection, basing its decisions on a number of factors, including publishing date, frequency of circulation, community interest, and availability of newer or more valid materials. Items dealing with local history are an exception, as are certain classics and award-winning children’s books. Fiction that was once popular but no longer in demand and non-fiction books that are no longer useful should be withdrawn from the collection. Weeding should be done on a regular basis due to reasons that include; to provide space for new or current books and to ensure the library maintains a collection that meets the requirements of users.

Weeding Criteria

Library materials may qualify to be weeded based on the following criteria:

  1. Materials that are worn beyond mending or rebinding except in the case that they are rare or unique.
  2. Materials that are superseded by newer, revised or updated editions/versions. This will exempt the titles with historical value.
  3. Age of material
    1. Publishing date depending on the subject matter will determine when the material will be weeded.
  4. Duplicate copies of the same title and edition with the exception of materials with high usage or of recognised importance. 
  5. Books with little to no circulation.
  6. Materials that contain information that is factually inaccurate or out of date.
  7. Curriculum books that are no longer part of the approved syllabus.
  8. Titles that are available in other formats.
  9. Materials that are part of a multi-volume set or a serial title that is not complete.


Weeding Guidelines
Non Fiction Categories

Example of weeding guidelines for different subjects under this category include;

  1. Biographies/Memoir/Autobiographies: Keep a good representation of books about all kinds of people, including athletes, presidents, scientists, women, African personality figures, etc. Weed based on physical condition and not solely on circulation. Weed biographies of contemporary figures when they are no longer “hot”.
  2. Geographies and Histories: These should be considered for weeding if conditions in the country have changed dramatically otherwise, books can be retained for 10 years, unless a new edition is available. However, at least one copy of  historical materials  about countries should be retained as a reference copy. 
  3. Travel Guides: Keep a good representation of standard travel guides. World histories, timelines, chronologies, or broad coverage of the fields can be retained indefinitely unless a new edition is available. Where possible, digital copies of these guides are preferred to hard copies. 
  4. Self-Help Books: All books in this category that are no longer popular based on circulation can  be weeded sooner.
  5. Photography: Retain books in this category  for at least 5 years. Emphasize titles with newer editions that cover techniques and equipment. Historical collections of major photographers as well as educational classics can be kept indefinitely.
  6. Paintings: This is an area where circulation does not play a big role in weeding. Therefore, keep a representation of major artists, valuable pieces and works that are in line with Book Bunk’s vision of libraries as palaces for the people.
  7. Philosophy, Theory, History: As long as physical condition is good, the content of these books should remain valid. Weed books 15 to 20 years old that refer to “modern art, philosophy or theory”.
  8. Architecture: Historical titles can be retained indefinately.
  9. Technology: Philosophy, Theory and History of Technology: books about inventions can be kept indefinitely. 
  10. Social Problems and Services: Weed after 5 years. Date is not important for books about specific crimes. Therefore, weed these when popularity wanes. Controversial issues should be represented from all viewpoints. Be careful when weeding not to remove just pro or con books on the subject. Books in the fields of drugs, child abuse, alcoholism, police and fire services, and safety should be examined carefully after 5 years.
  11. Law: Keep for up to 5 years. Weed before 5 years if laws or government ordinances are repealed/reformed.
  12. Bibliography: Weed after 10 years and provide digital copies of previous editions for all internationally accredited bibliographic manuals.
  13. Psychology: Weed after 10 years (except for classic works, e.g. Freud, which should be kept indefinitely). Human rights such as euthanasia and abortion must to be represented with titles less than 5 years old.
  14. Management and Business: Books older than 5 years should be considered for weeding. Exceptions are typing, shorthand  and classic titles. 


Fiction Categories

  • Retain works of consistent demand and/or high literary merit. Date is not as important when weeding these categories. The condition of the book is more important. Keep a good representation of the works and critiques of current and past writers (especially African authors). Fiction that was once popular but no longer in demand should be withdrawn.


Educational Categories

Titles in this category must be reviewed periodically to ensure they meet the current curriculum requirements. Materials that no longer meet the informational and research needs of students should be weeded.  

  1. Activity books should be weeded depending on their condition.
  2. Mathematics and Number books can be kept for about 10 years. Retain titles with simple problems indefinitely.
  3. For educational textbooks on specific subjects, apply the same weeding guidelines as the nonfiction categories.
  4. Encyclopedias and dictionaries can be kept in the reference section for 3 years then moved to circulation for at least 6 years. If updated versions of these are available, the older versions should be weeded if not in circulation. 


Folklore, Poetry and Comics

Titles in these categories should be retained largely depending on circulation and condition of materials.


Weeding Process

  1. Identify the rare/ unique books in the collection and put them away (i.e. first edition)
  2. Sort based on the condition of the book (1,2,3)
  3. Conduct desktop research (Literature review)
  1. Synopsis 
  2. Revisions/ updates available 
  3. Author profile 
  1. Attach a verdict to each collection, based on the literature review
    1. Keep
    2. Discard (provide a reason ie superseded, ugly)
    3. Replace (with a new copy of the same book, or a revised edition)
    4. Don’t know (we don’t have enough information about this book to make the decision


Who is Responsible for Weeding?

Librarians at the specific libraries together with Book Bunk inventory staff hold the responsibility of weeding the library’s collection to provide space for relevant books. Book Bunk’s Acquisition Liaison will be in charge of coordinating and reviewing the entire process.

How do we Dispose Weeded Materials ?

Weeded books that were part of the first catalogue in the library will be returned to the county government to be disposed of at their own discretion while those acquired by Book Bunk will be donated to local libraries, recycled or turned into art.

Once materials are deaccessioned from the library, their records will be removed from the library’s catalogue but archived for historical purposes.