At CC we’re having a big weeding extravaganza, of books and periodicals. I had never weeded books before and I developed a set of criteria which others may agree or disagree with. It’s very much a judgment call though, this is more of an art than a science.
Cataloging staff and some other library staff are pulling carts of books in call number sequences, per reports run in Millennium based on circulation criteria. Thus far I’ve worked on Sociology, general Social Sciences at the end of the H range, Anthropology, and now I’m working on Africa.
I take each book off the cart and flip through it from back to front, looking for a date due slip and any possible paraphernalia. (otherwise I would’ve missed gems like a Jethro Tull ticket stub).
I will consider withdrawing a book if:
- It’s obviously a textbook, reader or anthology
- Inappropriate for our library, such as being a pop book of little merit or a vanity-type publication
- Is not of interest to faculty currently at the college and not a special interest area for the college generally. For example we collect on our
- Seems too specialized and author isn’t noteworthy
I strongly consider retaining a book if:
- I know that current or retired faculty are highly interested in the subject and/or author
- Students have asked about the subject in the past during reference interviews
- It’s part of a multi-volume set and one or more volumes have circulated — I would rather keep the set intact than break it up.
- It’s the only copy in our regional lending group Prospector*
- The topic is relevant to current news and ongoing controversies
- The author is noteworthy in her/his field, or the book is considered a classic
* Since another institution has offered to take our unique books in Prospector, I’ve been sending them the foreign-language titles that have never checked out.