One of my library science student interns asked me to spend 20 minutes with her, going over with her how the serials collection is managed at our library. That is one of my collection responsibilities, so I was happy to
Some of the more difficult weeds in libraries are award winners. The Newbery, Caldecott, National Book Award, Hugo, Bram Stoker, Nebula, etc. etc. etc. awards are wonderful choices for most public libraries – and even some school, university, and special
The best advice I can give to anyone who does weeding of a library collection is to take your time. Go as slowly as is practical and put some thought into the process. Not only will you make better, more
A submission came in to Awful Library Books recently from a librarian who said they had an interlibrary loan request for an item that they were embarrassed to have in the collection. Rather than fulfill the request, they weeded the
Let’s talk about collection management policies. Stay with me, now! A library’s collection helps it meet its mission. The collection management policy explains how that will be accomplished. I’ve seen selection policies, deselection policies, and a gift policies, but that
A library’s collection exists to help the library meet its mission. When you are having trouble letting go of non-circulating library materials, or talking the Powers That Be into allowing you to do some weeding, this is a great point
You may be tempted to keep older history materials, such as those written during the time the event was happening, because they are “important” or as valuable primary source material. Here’s the thing about primary sources: they are valuable and important; crucial to good research, even. Here’s the other thing about primary sources: they rarely belong in your average neighborhood public library. Why not? I can hear you shaking your heads! Why on earth would a public library weed primary source material?
If your public library’s mission includes a statement about archiving and preserving, then yes, primary sources are for you! If your public library’s mission involves providing college or professional-level research materials, then yes, primary sources are for you as well! For everyone else, whose public library missions are to support the educational, entertainment, and life-long learning needs of the community through popular materials and programming (for example), primary sources are not for you. You’ll be better off with books that put history in its proper context: the past.
Once upon a time, Holly mentioned that I had a special formula for determining shelving capacity. This brought about a flurry of requests from many people. The reality is that I had little scraps of paper with a few notes