Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weeding Project Overview

Collier Library is undertaking a long overdue weeding of print books.  Weeding is the process of culling a library’s print materials of selective titles that no longer serve the needs of its users.  As most of you know, today’s academic library no longer points to the print collection’s size as an indicator of quality or success.  With expanding availability of electronic materials--Collier currently offers access to over 200,000 ebooks and 19,000 online journals--collections have actually grown more rapidly than in the days of print.  In addition, today’s students work more collaboratively and require facilities that meet these needs.  As a result, it is important that Collier recognizes these trends with an eye toward spaces designed for student use and collections that mirror current curriculum.  With this in mind we will weed the existing book collection to 1) Make more room for student-centered learning facilities and 2) Ensure that print collections are optimized for relevance and currency.  To achieve this we need your input.

 We partnered with Sustainable Collections Services (SCS) to develop rules to identify items for possibly withdrawal. SCS is currently working with several top tier academic libraries such as Johns Hopkins, California State University System, and James Madison University on similar projects.  SCS extracted, compiled, and analyzed our data to develop a list of “withdrawal candidates.” This list provides a starting point for the discussion of materials eligible for withdrawal.  Data used to identify withdrawal candidates included: most recent circulation date, publication date, and the number of libraries holding the item in the US. The rules associated with each of these factors varied by subject area – for example, a more recent publication date is more important for nursing and science subjects than for history or literature books.

Starting in July Collier faculty, staff, and student workers will begin “flagging” withdrawal candidates.  We invite teaching faculty to come over and visit your call number range when flagged and provide input on whether or not a title should be withdrawn.  An email notification will be sent to the campus when each phase of flagging is complete.

This will be a 4 phase operation beginning with call number P.  The tentative timeline is:

Phase 1- Collier Main books with call numbers beginning with P
(Faculty review complete by October 31, 2012)
Phase 2—Collier Main books with call numbers beginning with A-G
(Faculty review complete by February 28, 2013)
Phase 3—Collier Main books with call numbers beginning with H-O and Q-Z
(Faculty review complete by May 31, 2013)
Phase 4—Collier Reference Collection
(Faculty review complete by October 31, 2013)

Please visit this blog often to find detailed information about the project and updates on the status of the various phases. Please direct any comments/concerns on the process to

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