Friday, April 23, 2010

Weeding a collection

"Weeding" that's an interesting word to use for removing books from a collection. Just as we seek to add books to the collection based on a collection development policy, we should remove book when they no longer fit the needs of the library and its readers. Removing books that are worn out or superseded by newer versions or edition is easy. Selecting the others to remove is difficult. First because we know when the cost of the books were when new and second we think, "someone might need this book tomorrow."

The first document one should use for the decision is your collection development manual. It is always better to not buy items or not accept a donation than to remove it when it been cataloged and is sitting on the shelf.

Just because a book has not circulated does not mean it should be removed from the collection. One must weigh factors such as the importance for the collection. One may also decide to move the infrequently used materials to a secondary stack or storage area.

Weeding is hard when we love books, but every collection needs to look great. The display of materials is what encourages readers to try a book. It's ok to feel guilty. Just do the job carefully and systematically with plan and then everyone will appreciate the new look of the shelves.

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