Our library is about to get a new Library management system and a new RFID system. So in the next few weeks I have to adjust to a new LMS and tag approximately 30,000 resources. Each tag costs money and the shelves are very crowded, particularly in the fiction section, so we decided to complete a major cull prior to any of the new systems occurring, to save money and time tagging material that should no longer be on the shelves.
As a relative novice to the whole industry, I decided to use the CREW guidelines for weeding and to follow the MUSTY principles. The upshot of the exercise is that we now have far less crowded fiction shelves and hundreds and hundreds of older books to try and sell at a giant book sale at the school spring fair. I can now easily understand why it is important to use particular objective criteria to weed. As a book lover, everything in me resists the idea of removing a perfectly good book from the collection, ‘just in case’ someone wants to read it. However we were weeding materials, some of which had not been borrowed since it was catalogued in 1998, and it was taking up a lot of space on the shelves. The books that hadn’t been borrowed since 2000 were much easier to cull than the ones which were borrowed 5 years ago and you wonder if someone might still like them….
The videos were much easier as there is now only one video player in the school and most videos haven’t been used for ages but there were some used in 2011…borderline. I have had to consult with some teachers about deleting / replacing these titles in the collection and couldn’t be quite as savage as the CREW guidelines for AV recommend or I would have upset an awful lot of people! Teachers also find it hard to give up resources ‘just in case’ they might need them (even if they haven’t used them for 3 years!). Just deleting the video collection and the teacher kits (most of which had never been used) that are out of date created a huge amount of rubbish. The upside is that we now have heaps more room in the Teacher Resource and AV collections and the fiction section now has room on the shelves to actually display some books! Bonus. The students using the fiction section no longer have to wade through shelves full of old ‘classics’ to find something of interest. I am hoping this means more of them will be inclined to browse…time will tell.
Junior fiction…be scared….