Off the Shelf: Weeding the Book Collection at the Library

By Sharon Saye on January 09, 2019 from Off the Shelf via

Weeding is a term librarians stole from gardeners except we apply it to the book collection.  Much like its purpose in gardening to remove excess plant growth to clear the way for new greenery to grow, in a library it means “weed” from the book collection those books that are dated, damaged, no longer relevant and not circulating.  Strangely as space frees up on the shelves, people start finding books they might be interested in without having to push aside all the “weeds.”  With a collection of over 100,000 items, that is a daunting and time-consuming task.  
It is a constant decision-making process that is influenced by a host of factors.  Last year to help with this task, the library purchased Collection HQ, a software package that crunches the circulation patterns and tells you what you need to weed.  For the last four months as the renovations finished, we have been busy looking at the print-outs and pulling non-circulating items off the shelves.  We began with the nonfiction collection which is terribly over crowded and have been removing those books from the shelves and from the database.  We are slightly over halfway through the nonfiction, but all you fiction readers need only wait.  We will get there probably by spring.
As a result, we have dozens of boxes of nonfiction titles for which we need to find new homes.  So, we are holding a Booksale in the hallway of the library for the next few months.  Students and teachers should find loads of useful books on everything from insects to space exploration, trees to gardening.  And this is a great chance to stock up on the sort of books you might need for projects and reports.
The price can’t be beat; only $.25 per item.  The tables will be refreshed steadily, and as we are still busy weeding off the shelves, new items will be hitting the tables regularly.  Cookbook lovers, in particular, should start keeping an eye on the tables since we have just reached that section in our weeding and there will be stacks of cookbooks being removed from the collection.
So, please stop in, browse and take home a stack of books.  This is a great opportunity for teachers to build up their classroom collections at rock-bottom prices.  

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