Thursday, April 21, 2005

On Weeding

Weeding a library collection is one of those things that need to be done every so often, but no one ever wants to mention it, let alone admit to doing it. After all, weeding means you are taking things out of the collection and discarding them. True, you do it mostly for things that are out of date or are not circulating or are no longer useful, but in people's minds, they hate the idea of discarding books in any way. However, it is one of those things that have to be done if one is to be responsible with library resources, and space is one of those resources. So, while I wait for the Millenium system to compile the list I requested to do some weeding, I have a bit of time to read. As I type this, I am not sure the list will come out as I wanted. The Millenium Cataloguing System is capable of generating various lists, but it is not exactly the most intuitive system for librarians like me who don't actively do cataloguing. Unfortunately, this is one of those little things they did not teach me about in library school. Oh, I took cataloguing, and I know how to make bibliographic records, and I know how to use OCLC, but the Millenium system was nowhere to be seen. So, I am teaching it to myself as I go along. So I set my variables, looking for records in a certain call number range and located in the general collection, and we'll see what happens.

Where I work, weeding is sort of a necessity, but it is currently done as the librarian's time and other tasks allow. This is not inconsistent with the way other libraries do it since librarians have various tasks at hand. However, for us it seems a bit more imperative since due to lack of funding (and other reasons I won't go into now), we are at zero growth. What this means is that for every book I select, I should be taking something out because we are extremely tight on space. I have already done a bit of weeding for my subject areas in the Reference Collection, and now that things are slowing down a bit in terms of instruction, I trying to plan a move to the General Collection. I did a cursory look at the area I am starting with, and it looks like it has not been weeded for quite a while, so looks like I have my work cut out for me.

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