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Friday, August 14, 2009

That Most Dreaded Chore

Recently I've been engaged in that most dreaded chore of trying to weed my collection and ; it occurred to me that it might be useful to describe my method and invite others to comment on it or contribute their own methods.

I start by setting a date about 3 or 4 years ago and say that anything that hasn't circulated since then is in jeopardy. I check barcodes in milcirc to get the last circulation date and see if anyone else owns the book.

If I own the only copy of a book in milcirc and it hasn't gone out in my specified time period , I next check the union catalog. If mine is still the only copy in captivity, I conclude that I had better hold on to it. Books that I keep no matter what are those by local authors or on local subjects ( I usually stretch local to include all of New England), classics and books by notable authors. Every now and then there is a book that meets all my criterion for weeding that I just can't make myself part with, when i pardon one of those books I put a little question mark next to the label. That way the next time I weed I can either say it's already had its second chance or congratulate myself on keeping it.


jillian said...

Thank you Helena! I am printing out this post to refer to when I do my weeding! It is a good methodology.

Marcie said...

There are excellent guidelines at See especially the "CREW Guidelines by Dewey Class" starting on page 49.

Condition should be a factor as well as what else your library has access to in terms of electronic resources. Reference books especially may be duplicated by online databases, or at least have similar information.

Also, just because something happens to be the last copy in the region/network doesn't mean it automatically has to stay. Depending on the subject, something old, outdated, worn, with few or no circs should be discarded.

Grafton Public Library

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