This is our version of an ugly sweater contest: the fourth annual MUSTIES!

On or after December 13th, one ambassador from each NEKLS member library will be able to vote for the or W.O.R.S.T. loaned item that has been weeded from a library’s collection in 2023. All NEKLS members (be they school, academic, public, or special) may submit photos of up to (3) three retired items (cake pans, DVDs, books, anything you think has a shot at the grand prize). We want you to weed, and we want to reward you!

Submissions will be anonymous until voting ends at 5 PM, on Tuesday December 19th. The winners will then be announced, and prizes will be awarded.

Send photo submissions of up to three weeded items to by noon on December 12, 2023 (multiple photos of materials are allowed). Updates will be posted to and to our NEKLS-L mailing list.

Contest Dates

  • November 28 – Submissions Accepted
  • December 12 (Noon) – Submissions Deadline
  • December 13 – Voting Begins
  • December 19 (5 PM) – Voting Deadline
  • December 20 – Winners Announced

Previous MUSTIES Submissions

See the pictures below to get an idea of what has been submitted in previous years.

About Weeding

Get started with weeding by calling a NEKLS consultant or tackle it on your own, here’s a great starting spot. If you don’t have a collection development policy, or it has not been reviewed since no one knows, let’s talk.

If you need to recycle deselected books, here is more information for that task.

MUSTIE is an easily remembered acronym for six negative factors that frequently ruin a book’s usefulness and make it a prime candidate for weeding:
M = Misleading (and/or factually inaccurate)
U = Ugly (worn and beyond mending or rebinding)
S = Superseded (by a new edition or by a much better book on
the subject)
T = Trivial (of no discernible literary or scientific merit; usually of
ephemeral interest at some time in the past)
I = Irrelevant to the needs and interests of your community
E = The material or information may be obtained expeditiously
Elsewhere through interlibrary loan, reciprocal borrowing, or in
electronic format.

WORST (for Media): Worn out, Out of date, Rarely used, Supplied elsewhere
(available through ILL), or Trivial and faddish