Deselecting the Monographs Collection: One Library’s Adventure in Weeding


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Thursday, November 4, 2010
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM

Speakers: Margaret Foote - Eastern Kentucky University; Betina Gardner - Eastern Kentucky University

During the past several years librarians at Eastern Kentucky University came to realize that the monographs collection – the core, with print journals, of the library’s research services for decades – needed attention. Problems with mold, issues with lack of space, and a growing awareness that the collection was becoming outdated and little-used in a number of academic disciplines led librarians to conclude that the time had come to deselect titles from the monographs collection.
In this session we would like to share with attendees how we proceeded with our weed and what we have learned from our ongoing deselection process in the hopes that our experience will be of value to others. We began our weed in May 2010 by setting two goals. First, we would deselect titles that no longer serve the twenty-first century curriculum of Eastern Kentucky University. Second, we would preserve those titles that do support the curriculum as well as those titles unique to our collection. To achieve these goals we decided to create cohorts of librarians in the areas of humanities, sciences, and social sciences; members could use each other as sounding boards for weeding techniques. We agreed that librarians should incorporate weeding into their regular work flow. We have examined data about the various disciplines on campus so we would have a clear idea of what to weed. Disposal of titles have included a number of solutions, from the recycle bin for books in ragged condition to sending volumes to various organizations including state prisons. Our project is ongoing; we hope to complete the weed by August 2011. Attendees to this session are invited to share their deselection problems and solutions as a part of this presentation.

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Deselecting the Monographs Collection: One Library’s Adventure in Weeding

  1. 1. Margaret Foote, Coordinator of Collection Services Betina Gardner, Coordinator of Public Services Eastern Kentucky University Libraries 30th Annual Charleston Conference November 4, 2010
  2. 2.  Founded in 1906 as a teacher’s college to serve the needs of the people of eastern Kentucky.  Teacher education remains the core mission; other important programs include nursing, law enforcement  Library comprises a main library that houses the education library, plus several branches: music, justice and safety, business and technology commons.
  3. 3. Doctoral program in Higher Education; possible additional doctoral programs Greater emphasis on distance education classes and online classes Print resources giving way to electronic resources What will the future hold? Library needs to support that future with current resources
  4. 4.  Question: Are duplicate copies of older titles necessary for the collection?  Accreditation, or, we’d better get rid of the outdated nursing books now  Repurposing branches Justice & Safety Library developing into a combined library and computer lab Renovation of Music Library leads to careful thought about space and collection One last critical reason . . . . .
  5. 5.  What moves us forward? EKU Libraries will be a leader among academic libraries by providing excellent services and resources that embrace the digital age, by stewarding EKU collections and scholarship for a global audience, and by cultivating environments that inspire learning and creativity.
  6. 6.  Rabid v. resistant,  “Not a one size fits all” solution  Trust  Cohorts  Kick off – all on the table 
  7. 7.  The mark of the red X.  Removing titles in a timely fashion: a partnership between the shelving team and the copy catalogers.  Removing the titles from the database  Where do the discards go? Those in the worst shape are recycled  Better World Books  Kentucky prisons
  8. 8.  Process is still ongoing  Difference in collection: sections are more current, particularly in the sciences and social sciences  Collection content closer to meeting the academic needs of the EKU community of students, faculty, staff, and others.  Can rededicate space for new purposes  Can continue to review collection content in the future and maintain a better quality
  9. 9.  Margaret Foote   Betina Gardner 