San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.1470.1 - 25.1470.13
Weeding the Collection: An Analysis of Motivations, Methods, and Metrics “The traditional (or Alexandrian) model of the library is based upon the mistakenintuition that to be good a library must be vast and always growing” (Trueswell and Gore 1975).Deselection of library collections, whether printed or electronic, whether by choice orcompulsory, creates opportunities for criticism and growth. Where the literature suggests thatstarting a deselection project close to last on a librarian’s list, events beyond a librarian’s control,such as space reallocations or e-provider policies, can force a deselection action. In cases likethese, time constraints or inflexible vendor procedures can impose risks that threaten the attemptto maintain a viable collection. Sometimes, the choice is voluntary; but if not explicitly definedas part of a formal collection policy, the rationale used can vary, and if inexperienced, risksbeing incomplete or at worst, inaccurate. Where there are varied criteria for determiningcandidate resources, their proper application is key to successful results. Considerations such aslocal historical interest, volatility of the subject discipline, or the ubiquitous nature of the contentwill impact decisions as much as typical parameters such as physical condition, usage, orcurricular integration. In the disciplines many engineering librarians support, the volatility of thedisciplines can vary widely. Paying particular attention to engineering-related subject disciplines, this paper willoutline historical motivations that drive deselection initiatives, describe varying methodspreviously employed, and propose if a systematic rationale for applying metrics to determinecandidate materials as a function of discipline could be developed and successfully employed.By listing the number of parameters available, suggesting which ones would be emphasized forparticular collections, and contrasting their application in a manual versus an algorithmicallyapplied routine, a proposal for a best practice methodology will be given.Trueswell, Richard W. 1977. “Zero Growth: When is NOT-enough enough? A Symposium,” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 1 (5), 6-7.
Zuber, P. (2012, June), Weeding the Collection: An Analysis of Motivations Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22227
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