Friday, July 9, 2010

Some light, summer weeding ...

Experience and knowledge sometimes combine in wonderful ways. The other day, while brainstorming about a database I am designing, I turned to our OPAC for some informative reading material. In a basic search for "database design" (no quotations in my actual search) I stumbled across a handful of technology-focused resources more than 10 years old.

Now I know that deselection is a complex and nuanced art. I fully admit that I have no idea when any of these items were last checked out, how often they circulate, or what their general condition is. However, a provocative article I read in American Libraries a few days earlier inspired me to advocate for weeding in this post.

In Weeding Grows the Garden, Brian Mathews lists the accomplishments of Michael Sawyer, Director of Calcasieu Parish Public Library, Louisiana and weeding evangelist. Sawyer explains that not only do public libraries "have a responsibility to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information possible," he also espouses that weeding boosts circulation. By removing the dross from library collections patrons can more effectively see new and engaging materials - and check them out!

I'm sure that many of you have heard this before and that many of you are in the process of weeding right now. But for those of you that view weeding with a distasteful eye or feel the need to cling to titles of the past, take heart! A brutal and rousing round of weeding can freshen your collections and your bump circ stats!

Matthews, B. (2010, May). Weeding Grows the Garden. American Libraries, 41 #5. Retrieved from

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