Library Operations during COVID-19

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Deselection Process

The vitality of library collections depends not only upon thoughtful collection development but also upon selective collection management. In order to enhance the library’s value and utility, care must be taken to ensure that our collections are properly maintained and accessible.

Deselection Process

One important aspect of this process is withdrawing materials that no longer support the mission of the University or the purpose of the library’s collections.

Deselecting materials requires as much care as the process of selection itself. It is especially important that deselection be viewed within the broader context of the entire library collection, and that we get input from as many viewpoints as possible.

The project will begin with books in the Natural Sciences Area, then move to the Social Sciences and followed by the Humanities and Fine Arts. Candidates for removal are books that have never circulated and are older than a certain date, depending on the specific discipline.

Actual removals will be made based on a number of criteria. As the different academic areas are evaluated, a Google spreadsheet listing the books we are examining in that area will be shared with the members of that department. Books that are candidates for removal are those that have never been checked out, and are older than a certain number of years that varies by discipline. In the stacks, these are marked with a red dot on the spine and a sleeve over the front cover that can be used to write comments and opinions by all library users. They will be available for evaluation for at least an entire semester.

Faculty from individual departments are asked to visit the library to evaluate these books while still on the shelf because the context of these books within our collection is very important. We may have multiple copies of a book that are no longer needed, or multiple titles that address the same issue from the same viewpoint in the same historical time frame.

In addition to leaving feedback on the sleeve of the actual book, faculty also can give feedback via the spreadsheet. Any book that is requested for retention will be kept in the collection, and we will also keep any historically relevant materials regardless of the subject matter. A classic text in a subject field may be on this list with no usage because it was previously in the Reference Collection and not allowed to circulate.

Books removed will be sent to Better World Books for resale, sold in the library book sale, or recycled if they are in bad physical condition.

Reasons for retention include:

  • Supports curriculum
  • Outstanding literary, historical, or scientific value
  • Faculty needs
  • Visual interest Context within the collection—the only example of a particular idea or historical viewpoint Special collections interest

Reasons for weeding include:

  • Misleading or factually inaccurate
  • Worn beyond mending or rebinding
  • Superseded by a new edition or by a much better book on the subject
  • No discernible literary, historical, or scientific merit
  • No longer relevant to the needs and interests of the university
  • Material is permanently archived online
  • Multiple copies Context within the collection—too many titles on the same subject, in the same time frame, with same viewpoint

Basic Procedures for Weeding Main lists:

Subject lists were created using GreenGlass. After the lists were exported to the google drive, usage statistics for the most recent years not included in GreenGlass were accessed through WorldShare, and any titles used were removed from consideration. The list is then used as a guide so that all books under consideration for removal are marked with a sticker on the spine and a sleeve that is placed over the front cover with space for comments by users.

All lists are color coded to show which books have been stickered and which books were not found or have been moved. “Potentially missing” color coding is for books you cannot find on initial search. Look them up in the catalog to see if they are checked out or available. If available, they are marked missing. If checked out, they are removed from list. If no longer in the catalog, they are marked already removed.

Duplicates should be done after the main lists are completely stickered as there is some overlap. Do not mark a duplicate with a “D” if it is on the main list. Check barcodes to be sure you are stickering the right copy if there is only one on the master list. All of these stickers should be sleeved. Books that show up on the “still in use” list are removed from the main list as they occur.

Duplicates:

Duplicate lists were created by using GreenGlass to separate a specific Dewey section without using any other parameters. These lists were then exported to an Excel file which I then used Highlighting to mark all duplicate cells in the title field. I then deleted all rows that were not marked. After this I went through and check each title through WMS to make sure that A) It was still in the system and B) it still had multiple copies.

I also made sure that it wasn’t a series or an item with a supplemental item or guide. I then edited the list to separate each group of duplicate items for easier reading. Duplicates should be done after the main lists are completely stickered as there is some overlap. Do not mark a duplicate with a “D” if it is on the main list. Check barcodes to be sure you are stickering the right copy if there is only one on the duplicate list.

This should only happen if the other copy was marked in a main list. All lists are color coded to show which books have been stickered with a “D” sticker, which books were part of the original main list, and which books were not found or have been moved. There are some items stickered with “D” stickers that are not on the list as they did not show up in the exported file. This is a small number.

Duplicates were not intended to be sleeved though some of them were. These need to be analysed internally to see which copy should be kept.

Over 100 years old or other special interest (donation plate, autographed, etc.): Should be marked with a sticker that says “100” and should be sleeved. These need to be analysed internally to see which copy should be kept or moved to Special Collections.