Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Weeding Game: Saying Goodbye to Reference Books

The librarian before me was a pack-rat. She didn't throw away anything! Our school's collection hadn't been weeded in decades, and the average age was 1976.  I began to weed and feed the collection five years ago, correcting spine labels and database entries. Here I am today about to enter the "more aggressive" stage of weeding our reference section, and I find myself feeling sorry for the dozens upon dozens of books which have outlived their usefulness. To be honest, I have felt SO bad that I have laid out displays for each department, hoping that teachers will take some of these books to their classrooms. So now that you're wondering why I feel so attached, let me explain our budget situation: when I first arrived five years ago, the numbers were already pretty low. Given the recent super cuts (no, not the hair salon) from NJ Governor Christie, (our public school teachers have been vilified by him) what little I had was cut over 94%!!! So I have learned to use and reuse and reuse, if you know what I mean.

With the giant barrels lined up, I have weeded a few hundred books. Now comes the really fun part which is deleting each barcode. How do YOU weed your reference books? Do you think that print reference is close to dead? I've given you 14 resources to help you through this process. Please answer the survey at the end of the post.

Be Proactive: Weed- blog post from School Library Monthly

Determining Use of an Academic Library Reference Collection 

The Horrors of Weeding in Buffalo - the comments are as interesting as this public library's take

Is Print Reference Dead?- written by Sue Polanka; includes survey results from ALA librarians (2007)

Weed 'Em and Weep!- slide presentation by Awful Library Books

Weeding Guidelines By Subject
View more documents from Ed Sadowski

Weeding Library Collections- this wiki includes great ideas on what to do with weeded books, including  book sales, donation and more.

Weeding Library Collections: A Selected Annotated Bibliography for Library Collection Evaluation- from ALA

Weeding and Maintenance of Reference Collections- book by Linda S. Katz

Weeding Reference Materials (Lis 60610)
View more PowerPoint from guestab667e

Weeding Your Library- tips from teacher-librarian Cindy

Weeding Your Library Collection- here's how they weed in New Zealand's schools

Do you feel that print reference is dead?

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