Abstract

This paper will provide an adaptable roadmap for weeding a monograph collection at a small academic library. When starting straight out of library school as the first Collection Development Librarian for the St. Edward’s University library in July 2010, I was confronted with a monograph collection that had never been weeded in any systematic way. As a small liberal arts university library, it is not our mission to collect comprehensively but rather to support the current curriculum, which is focused on social issues in a global context. Yet, there we were with a dusty, dated, unused collection filling the shelves. The original goals of the weeding project were to remove outdated and unused materials from the collection and to discover areas where materials should be replaced or built upon. As will be discussed, a new more pressing goal presented itself during the course of this project. I will outline the process I went through to develop criteria for weeding the collection and how these criteria were adapted to different subject areas based on the curriculum of a given department. I will highlight the tools I used to generate lists of items to be weeded after the criteria were set and how to keep track of progress using SpringShare Lib-Guides. Lastly, I will cover the most unanticipated challenge in managing this project: the human element, in the form of both faculty and librarian colleagues reluctant to weed. The project is ongoing with the goal of having an entire collection review completed by May 2012.

DOI

10.5703/1288284314902

 

A First-Year Librarian’s Weeding Project Management Experience from Start to (Planned) Finish

This paper will provide an adaptable roadmap for weeding a monograph collection at a small academic library. When starting straight out of library school as the first Collection Development Librarian for the St. Edward’s University library in July 2010, I was confronted with a monograph collection that had never been weeded in any systematic way. As a small liberal arts university library, it is not our mission to collect comprehensively but rather to support the current curriculum, which is focused on social issues in a global context. Yet, there we were with a dusty, dated, unused collection filling the shelves. The original goals of the weeding project were to remove outdated and unused materials from the collection and to discover areas where materials should be replaced or built upon. As will be discussed, a new more pressing goal presented itself during the course of this project. I will outline the process I went through to develop criteria for weeding the collection and how these criteria were adapted to different subject areas based on the curriculum of a given department. I will highlight the tools I used to generate lists of items to be weeded after the criteria were set and how to keep track of progress using SpringShare Lib-Guides. Lastly, I will cover the most unanticipated challenge in managing this project: the human element, in the form of both faculty and librarian colleagues reluctant to weed. The project is ongoing with the goal of having an entire collection review completed by May 2012.