To Read, or to Weed?Using the WorldCat Collection Analysis Tool to Weed Your Library‟sCollection
Why Weed? Part of assessment and evaluation Weeding is an ongoing process and is a joint effort between liaison librarians and the general faculty. Weeding is an essential element of library service which achieves a number of goals: Outdated, unused, and no longer reliable materials are discarded Shelf space for new acquisitions is increased Finding and shelving materials is much easier for clientele and staff Deteriorated materials can be repaired, replaced, or discarded The collection‟s reputation for reliability and currency is Linscheid Library Collection Development Handbook enhanced http://www.ecok.edu/library/information/assessment.htm
Systematic Approach Determine areas to weed 25 areas/5 librarians/5 areas per yr/entire collection in 5 years Consult syllabi Use WorldCat Collection Analysis to determine: a. overall age of holdings; b. uniqueness of holdings; c. items lent via ILL; d. a peer comparison of other regional schools in Oklahoma; and e. a „best lists‟ comparison. Use ILS for initial list Linscheid Library Weeding Handbook http://www.ecok.edu/library/information/assessment.htm
Creating an Initial List Books that have never been checked out Create this list using Millennium Will be the foundation list for all further lists What to watch out for: reference books or other materials that do not circulate, and newly-catalogued materials which have not had a chance to circulate
Peer Comparison & ILL How accessible are the materials? Is a single title shared by multiple institutions? Will show how many materials are unique to your collection in the region, or unique to WorldCat Unique can be a good thing, or it can sometimes point to irrelevancy (e.g., “Is a book on soda can construction beneficial to the collection?”) Is anybody else using your books via interlibrary loan?
“Best of” Lists What books are must-haves? Should titles be weeded even if they are contained on a „best of‟ list as established using the WorldCat tool? What do we mean by a “best of” list?
How We Incorporate theInformation All the numbers are put into an Excel spreadsheet The spreadsheet is weeded using basic Excel tools Titles are eliminated from the list that are: New to the collection Appear on “best of” lists Have been ILLed Unique titles deemed relevant to the collection
Important to Remember The weeding lists are only a jumping-off point Librarians still need to do traditional viewing of the physical state of the materials The list will not catch everything, nor is it meant to; the librarian can use it as a guide to help with starting weeding, not a catch-all M.U.S.T.I.E. is the word of the day
Liaison Involvement Library liaisons are responsible for the weeding of their designated areas. Weeding is an essential and continuing library practice. Liaisons should involve their faculty, whenever possible, in this process to ensure that publications of historical or research value are not discarded. Collection lists Physically looking at the collection Working with students (i.e., service learning) Linscheid Library Liaison Handbook http://www.ecok.edu/library/information/assessment.htm
Liaison Report Handbooks mentioned are part of assessment efforts Assessment efforts overlap into annual evaluation process Liaison report (due at evaluation) documents: Departments served Communication & outreach Collaboration efforts Collection development – weeding report Bibliographic instruction
Conclusion Starting a weeding project can be daunting WorldCat can be a valuable tool in beginning a weeding project, or simply better understanding the nature of your collection While it can never be totally comprehensive, creating lists with WCA will provide solid groundwork for both present and future weeding
Contact InformationChristopher W. ClarkRecords Assistant, Linscheid Librarycwclark@ecok.edu(580) 559-5280