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Weeding 101 Dr. Donna Baumbach University of Central Florida (retired to NC!)

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Presentation on theme: "Weeding 101 Dr. Donna Baumbach University of Central Florida (retired to NC!)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Weeding 101 Dr. Donna Baumbach University of Central Florida (retired to NC!)

2 Thanks! For the invitation For your patience For answering the questions on the discussion boards For your participation tonight

3 Congrats, Dr. Matzen! Collection Development courses frequently do NOT cover weeding Collection Development policies frequently do not mention weeding

4 Weeding is… …an essential part of collection development. …selection in reverse. …de-selection. …separating the wheat from the chaff. …critical to a healthy collection of print and non print materials.

5 Why Weed? Professional responsibility –Collections are the heart of what we do Dangerous/misleading information “Facts” change Improved appearance of library and shelves More appealing to users “Good stuff” stands out

6 Why Weed? Get to know the collection better –Discover “new” resources –Discover “holes” Discover errors in shelving or cataloging Discover items that need repair or promotion Balance (fair and honest)

7 Excuses I have the largest collection… The LMS before me never weeded… If I throw it away, someone will need it… We need it to meet the accreditation standards… If I got rid of everything that needed to go, I wouldn’t have anything left…

8 Excuses My principal won’t let me… People would think I’m wasting money… If I throw it away, someone will need it… I’m not an expert in “that” topic… I don’t have time… We don’t have money to replace what we weed…

9 Excuses I might make a mistake… I might throw away something really valuable…. My collection is brand new… Weeding will show I’ve made mistakes in purchasing… I don’t know where to start…. I don’t know how…

10 Obvious Weeds Items that haven’t been circulated Items that have circulated too much Titles that don’t fit the curriculum or current areas of interest Outdated info, images, formats Stereotypes Better info available in other formats Multiple copies are available Worn, damaged, ugly, moldy, smelly, etc.

11 Weed with Caution Materials with local interest or history Works of historical significance: classics, award winners Expensive titles Special titles for cooperatives Titles listed in current selection tools

12 Favorite Trick Search titles by keywords and, if possible, dates: –Modern –Today –Contemporary –Current –New America Votes: Things You Should Know About Elections Today (1976)

13 Favorite Trick Search titles by keywords and, if possible, dates: –Modern –Today –Contemporary –Current –New Now in Mexico (1947)

14 Favorite Trick Search titles by keywords and, if possible, dates: –Modern –Today –Contemporary –Current –New –Now Flying Saucers Here and Now (1967)

15 Favorite Trick Search titles by keywords and, if possible, dates: –Modern –Today –Contemporary –Current –New Today’s Heroes in Sports (1970)

16 Where I Come From: 1987 Early automation projects Florida’s state union database of school library media holdings: SUNLINK Selection criteria for participation

17 SUNLINK 1,939,230 titles 2,841 schools (K-12) 67 districts in the state of Florida Reading/interest levels Cataloged educational web sites Book cover images Digital images and streaming video First K-12 union on the WWW

18 Age of Collection Data THEN (1987): –60% of collections were more than 30 years old % pre-1980 and 51% pre-1990 –Average AOC 1983 –Fiction/Non-Fiction/Total NOW (2007): –Almost 1/2 published in last 10 years –Less than 10% over 30 years old

19 SUNLINK’s Weed of the Month LM_Net Collaboration Weed a little at a time… 1997 to 2005 Over 100 topics

20 WOM Rationale for weeding the topic Dewey numbers to check Specific criteria for weeding Examples of titles to be weeded Suggestions for titles to be added –(later changed to tips for replacing titles)

21 For example: Folktales Rationale: –“timeless?” Dewey: –398 and 900s (travel and geography) and 745 (decorative arts) Don’t forget nonprint materials Specific thing to look for: –Ethnic, religious, gender bias –Illustrations and eye appeal –Not appropriate to age level –Do not contribute to a positive world view

22 For example: Folktales Reconsider: –African Folktales (filmstrip) –Arab Folktales –Complete Book of Indian Craft and Lore –Modern Greek Folktales –Stories from Old Russia –We Always Lie to Strangers: Tall Tales from the Ozarks Tips for replacements: –Add titles that increase global awareness –Think about countries in the news today –Help students understand other cultures

23 Favorite Weeding Quotes “It does not matter how many books you may have, but whether they are good or not.” –Lucius Annaeus Senecca, Roman Philosopher

24 Favorite Weeding Quotes “You can’t teach today’s students with yesterday’s materials and expect them to have success tomorrow.” –Poster in Teacher Librarian, April 1999

25 Favorite Weeding Quotes “Weed. I’m not telling you again.” –Doug Johnson, Mankato (MN) District School

26 Favorite Weeding Quotes “Poorly weeded collections are not the sign of poor budgets, but of poor librarianship. Period.” –Doug Johnson

27 Favorite Weeding Quotes “Git-R-Done!” –Larry the Cable Guy

28 Your Turn Rationale Dewey or LC numbers to examine Specific criteria or things to consider Titles (if access to online catalogs) Replacements Physical Fitness 9/11 Careers Baseball Cook Books Diseases Tobacco, Drug or Alcohol Education Libraries & Librarians Biographies Jokes

29 I highly recommend: Less is More: A Practical Guide to Weeding School Libraries (ALA Editions, 2006) –ISBN:

30 See also: All links active as of 10/4/07


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