Keeping Your Library Collection Smelling F.R.E.S.H! Yesterday I had the opportunity to work with a fun group of librarians in the northern part of my state who had some questions about weeding.
Specifically, they were concerned about getting rid of old materials when their collections are already small and there's no money to replace the discards with shiny new replacements. I understand this concern, but when it comes to weeding, I err on the side of less being more. To me, these are the major problems with holding onto old, out of date, musty materials: Out of date materials can be dangerous. Why We Weed: Book Deselection in Academic Libraries.
Weeding – withdrawing books from the library’s collection – is one those dreaded librarian tasks.
It usually sits on the back burner – other projects are often more pressing, or it’s simply being avoided. However, it’s an important task and one that can be fraught with controversy. Public libraries which frequently need to refresh their collections to offer bestsellers often pop up in the news when it comes to weeding books – mostly for not doing the job well – see Urbana Free Library in Illinois, Fairfax County Libraries in Virginia, and Davenport Public Library in Iowa. For academic libraries, the process seems to be a taboo subject. Collection Management. Getting rid of books can feel uncomfortable and look bad to community members, but careful weeding is key to the health of a collection.
There’s an uncomfortable truth about library stacks that most librarians know but many don’t like to admit: those shelves hold a lot of junk that has to make way for the new titles getting published every day. Considering the volume of material libraries deal with, and the span of time over which those titles have been acquired, it’s not surprising. Pulling that chaff from the collection can be time-consuming for librarians with no dearth of other projects needing their attention. Why We Weed. About This Site Librarians, bibliophiles, and lovers of nostalgia are all welcome here.
Your librarians for this site are Mary Kelly and Holly Hibner. We are public librarians in Michigan. We have both been holding court at various reference desks for over ten years and love talking about library collections and library service. Weed It! CSLA 2010 Book Cart Drill Team. The School Library Media Specialist: Information Access & Delivery. The teacher librarian sustains a healthy collection through an effective maintenance program.
I hate to throw things away. How do I know when something should be pitched? There's a really old video on first aid that the fifth grade teacher is still using. Weeding Library Collections. Weeding the Worst Library Books. Last summer, in Berkeley, California, librarians pulled roughly forty thousand books off the shelves of the public library and carted them away.
The library’s director, Jeff Scott, announced that his staff had “deaccessioned” texts that weren’t regularly checked out. But the protesters who gathered on the library’s front steps to decry what became known as “Librarygate” preferred a different term: “purged.” “Put a tourniquet on the hemorrhage,” one of the protesters’ signs declared. “Don’t pulp our fiction,” another read. In response, Scott attempted to put his policy in perspective. Weeding Tips: The Basics, by Rebecca Vnuk. Crewmethod08. Weeding Library Collections: A Selected Annotated Bibliography for Library Collection Evaluation. "Next to emptying the outdoor bookdrop on cold and snowy days, weeding is the most undesirable job in the library.
It is also one of the most important. Collections that go unweeded tend to be cluttered, unattractive, and unreliable informational resources. " - Will Manley, "The Manley Arts," Booklist, March 1, 1996, p. 1108. There are two aspects to weeding. The first is the writing of a collection development or selection policy that is appropriate for your community; this will serve as a guideline as you make decisions about your collection.