Discarding Steps

You may know how you discard books. But you don’t know how I discard books. Allow me to share.

First, get past the feelings of guilt and let the books go. If you don’t, you may have a shelf that looks like this.

Step 1: Stamp books with the Discard stamp. If you’re writing it by hand, invest in a stamp. I think I ordered mine with a Demco order.

Step 2: Delete the copies in your catalog. We’re using Destiny now and it can ‘track as weeded,’ which I assume is a nice feature and I check the box.

Step 3: Pull off as many stickers as you can. You know why. Tomorrow during a class session you’re checking in the mountain of books and ‘this copy does not exist.’ “Hey, who returned this discarded book? Do you want it back?” ~crickets~ This book was obviously NOT picked up from the free table by a student and you are losing your mind. Peel off the stickers. Don’t just scratch them out with a sharpie.

Step 4: I record my discarded books on my Copies Added & Discarded record. It’s a simple chart with date, new books, discards, budget, and description. I write down the date and record how many books I’m discarding. At the end of the year when I have to report to the state how many books I discarded, I have an easy record. It’s even easier than figuring where in Destiny you can find a report to list this number. (Destiny’s help section and I are not friends). 

Step 5: Print some signs on colored paper and laminate. Very fast. My signs say “Free to Teachers” (orange) and “Free to Students” (yellow). Don’t make them the same color. It will save your brain from confusion.

Step 6: Put the books on a side table in your library or a place in the school with high traffic. Put out the sign of your choice. I often give students first pick of the discard books if they are in pitiful shape or if they are topics I don’t think will add to a classroom library or project. Sometimes the teachers get a chance for two days and then the students do. Your staff and your students will get used to the signs. Mine are very respected and the students don’t go near if they see the orange sign for teachers.

Step 7: Enjoy the empty space the discarded books have left behind. 

Related Documents:
Copies Added & Discarded
Free to Students and Teachers Signs

February 11, 2011
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  • Reply A Bookshelf Monstrosity

    I’m in the process of weeding a very dated K-8 library collection. Most of the books are from the 1970s. I’ve weeded almost 500 this year, and I have many more long afternoons in my future. Thanks for the great post on LM_Net this week! Glad I found your blog.

    February 12, 2011 at 8:43 pm
  • Reply Judy Hamilton

    In Destiny:

    Reports > Library reports > Weeding log.

    Specify the date range you want that report to cover.

    May 18, 2015 at 1:55 pm
    • Reply Carolyn


      You’re absolutely right that this is a great option if you want a total for the year! I always forget to use this report because I like to know how many books I weeded by choice (because I was weeding a specific section of the library) as opposed to the ones that get discarded on a daily basis because they are too damaged to keep in the collection. I should start comparing the two lists to get the totals.


      May 18, 2015 at 2:05 pm

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