Monday, March 14, 2011

It's time for some Spring cleaning!

The warmer temperatures outside and the longer days have me thinking about Spring cleaning.  Spring is a great time to get rid of the old and make room for the new, so why not use this changing season as an excuse to weed your library collection (as if you need an excuse - doesn't everyone just love weeding!).  Weeding may be a chore, but it really is an important part of maintaining your collection.
So, why weed?
1. It makes it easier for patrons to find interesting and relevant materials.
2. It makes collection more visually attractive and inviting to those browsing the collection.
3. It provides a more appealing, up-to-date collection.
4. Patrons trust the library to supply information that is easy to find and up-to-date.
5. It allows the librarian to identify gaps in the collection so she can make new purchases.
6. It creates space on the shelves for new acquisitions.
7. It increases circulation as attention is drawn to materials that patrons may have previously overlooked.

Now that I've convinced you to weed, here's how:
  • Content (is it out of date, inaccurate, inappropriate, trivial)
  • Format (fragile, ugly, ripped)
  • Use (number of circulations)
Probably the most well-known weeding method for public libraries is the CREW method:
Evaluation and

Defining Your Criteria 
The following criteria should be considered for each item in your collection. You will probably make decisions based on some combination of these criteria - that is, an item should probably not be discarded based on meeting only one of these criteria

The CREW method uses an acronym, MUSTIE, to indicate when an item should be removed from the collection. MUSTIE stands for:

Misleading and/or factually inaccurate
Ugly (worn out beyond mending or rebinding)
Superseded by a new edition or a better source
Trivial (of no discernable literary or scientific merit)
Irrelevant to the needs and interests of your community
Elsewhere (the material may be easily borrowed from another source).

For more information on the CREW Method, check out this book:

Happy Weeding!

(Source: Chinook Arch Regional Library System Weeding Workshop, October 2004)

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