We are committed to preparing our students for success in the world in which they will live and work. With this in mind, we must ensure that the learning and development of our students are guided and supported by up-to-date and relevant resources and supports. This includes the books that are available to them at their school library, and online through our Library Learning Commons.

Guided by Ministry of Education directives, such as Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan and the Guidelines for Approval of Textbooks the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) has set out to establish a framework for this process as part of the 2020-2021 Operational Plan. Though library collection reviews are a routine occurrence in any institution with a library, we are working to provide formal structure and guidance to this process for schools in the WRDSB. Below, you will find more information on how the regular library collection review process works.

You can also learn more about the Library Collection Review Process on our website.



Library Collection Review – How It Works

Our library staff are dedicated professionals, focused on ensuring that the learning resources available to students and staff in their schools, and in our school board, are current and relevant. These library staff carrying out a collection review are trained professionals, with a vast knowledge of the wide variety of available resources and a clear understanding of the educational goals to be achieved.

Library staff are responsible for building our collections, by selecting new resources, and ensuring the ones in the collection are responsive to the needs of those who rely on our libraries. The selection process is guided by clear criteria, all with the goal of ensuring that our students receive the best learning experience possible in our libraries or online with our Library Learning Commons. Weeding, an important part of the selection process, makes space for current materials, as well as reducing damage to books which can be caused by overcrowding.

The CREW Method

Library professionals use a process known as the Continuous Review, Evaluation and Weeding (CREW) Method to cull outdated materials, or those which are no longer useful to those who access the library. Since its inception in 1976, The CREW Method has become the benchmark tool for weeding library collections.

Importantly, the CREW method entails a continuous, ongoing process of review, evaluation and weeding. The regularity of the process prevents the buildup of unused or damaged materials, enhancing the quality of the service received by the library’s community. A streamlined collection is more efficient and reliable to use, making it faster for our students and staff to find the information, stories and facts that they need.

Learn more about the CREW Method on our website.

The MUSTIE Criteria

The CREW method gives six general criteria for considering weeding an item from the library collection which are summarized with the acronym MUSTIE.

MUSTIE stands for:

  • Misleading
  • Ugly
  • Superseded
  • Trivial
  • Irrelevant
  • Elsewhere

The books identified by the MUSTIE criteria could:

  • Be deteriorating
  • Contain misinformation
  • Have old regional names or boundaries
  • Contain an out of date math formula
  • Contain information that is easily searchable online

Learn more about the MUSTIE criteria on our website.


Share Your Voice

Share Your Voice

As we work to plan our framework for reviewing library collections, we want to hear your thoughts. Students, families and community members will be invited to share feedback about the library collection review process as an important part of our work determining a framework that best supports student learning.

If you’re interested in taking part, be sure to watch our website, or your school’s website, for more information.

Recommended Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about the library collection review process, we recommend these resources: