Weeding Resources

Weeding, also known as culling or de-selection, is a process of removing library materials form collections based on a certain criteria. Weeding is a necessary process that libraries continuously perform.

Weeding is vital because it saves shelf space (removes overstuffed shelves and creates room for new books), makes it easier to browse the collection and thus saves time, removes outdated material, makes the collection more appealing, etc.

Librarians are often hesitant to weed for many different reasons. Don’t let any hesitations get in the way of weeding; you don’t want your collection to suffer because of it. One such hesitation is the potential reaction from the public/ patrons. They may look at the process and say, “Why is the library throwing out books?” Transparency is needed to avoid any negative publicity. Get the word out before the project begins, and explain the process and why weeding is essential.

It is important for librarians and patrons alike to remember that libraries do not have unlimited space; and libraries are not museums or warehouses.

If you need guidance, THE definitive resource on weeding is CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries, which was created by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.  The Crew manual explains why weeding is important, it covers the weeding process, and it also offers weeding assistance on specific categories (nonfiction, fiction, graphic novels, periodicals, children’s books, young adult fiction, etc.).

Before starting a weeding project, you should make sure your library has an updated weeding policy. One is available on the State Library’s website (and in the resources below).

If you ever need assistance with weeding, don’t hesitate to contact your Library Development representative (and we’ll come running!).

Now that we’ve covered some weeding basics, it’s time to start weeding! Here are some great resources on weeding:

Videos/ Webinars/ Tutorials on Weeding:

Recommended Reading:

  • Allen, M. (2010). Weed ’em and reap: The art of weeding to avoid criticism. Library Media Connection. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/V2Nx0P
  • Chant, I. (2015). The art of weeding: Collection management. Library Journal. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2sqVUqc
  • Vnuk, R. (2016). Weeding without worry: Transparency and communication help ease weeding woes. American Libraries. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1Zi73Rm

What to Do with Weeded Books:

Factors for Weeding:

  • Consider things like age, last circulation date, number of circulations, condition, multiple copies, etc.
  • Also, you can use the acronym MUSTIE – Misleading, Ugly, Superseded, Trivial, Irrelevant, and Elsewhere (more information on MUSTIE can be found in the Crew manual)

Inspiring Quotes on Weeding:

  • “A good library collection is like a good haircut. It’s not what you cut–it’s what you leave.” – Anne Felix (CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries)
  • “…it is better to have worthless books in the trash than have trash on your shelves.” – Melissa Allen (Weed ‘Em and Reap: The Art of Weeding to Avoid Criticism)
  • “Overflowing shelves give an overall impression of chaos and make it harder for people to fine the resources they really need.” – Melissa Allen (Weed ‘Em and Reap: The Art of Weeding to Avoid Criticism)
  • “…lack of funds to replace outdated or worn items is never an excuse for not weeding.” – Jeanette Larson (CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries)
  • “Try to avoid a situation where weeding is a massive project that is done once in ten years requiring you to weed hundreds of items. It is much better to make weeding an ongoing process…” – Melissa Allen (Weed ‘Em and Reap: The Art of Weeding to Avoid Criticism)
  • “Patrons lose patience trying to find items that are crammed onto overcrowded shelves.” – CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries
  • “Circulation can be increased by simply making the shelves look more attractive and user-friendly, even if there are actually fewer books.” – CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries
Advertisements

Readers Advisory Resources

Readers Advisory is a service libraries offer that includes helping readers locate materials through recommendations, book lists, displays, social networking, and other means. Basically, readers advisory means recommending books to patrons.

All libraries provide readers advisory services whether they realize it or not. It can be done “informally” (by verbally recommending books to patrons) and “formally” (by using displays and handouts).

If your library has recommended items to patrons either “formally” or “informally,” your library has done readers advisory. (Hint: remember this when filling out your library’s annual report)

If you would like to expand your library’s readers advisory services or if you would like to learn more about this service, here are some great resources:

Resources specifically for teens/ young adults:

Book Lists – Summer is Coming

Looking for a good book to read? Looking for a good book to recommend to your patrons? Looking for a good book to add to your collection? If so, here are some great lists for you!

It’s still technically spring, but summer is coming (Game of Thrones fans will appreciate this image); so here are some books to get you through spring and ready for summer:

Library Grants – April 2017

Dollar signFirst Book

Application deadline: Ongoing

First Book is a nonprofit providing free and discounted books and educational resources to schools and programs serving children from low-income families. Registration is required to ensure only qualifying organizations participate. Sign up at: http://www.fbmarketplace.org/register

Mazda Foundation

Application deadline: July 1

The Mazda Foundation awards grants to programs promoting education and literacy, environmental conservation, cross-cultural understanding, social welfare, and scientific research. Organizations are required to have a 501(c)(3) designation. Find out more and apply here: http://www.mazdafoundation.org/grant-guidelines/

North Dakota Humanities Council Quick Grants

Application deadline: Ongoing

NDHC Quick Grants ($1,500 or less) support direct program costs of humanities projects that bring historical, cultural, or ethical perspectives to bear on issues of interest in our communities. They support events that engage participants in thinking critically, promote better understanding of ourselves and others, are conducted in a spirit of open and informed inquiry, provide multiple viewpoints, and which involve partnerships between community organizations, cultural institutions, and scholars in the humanities. Read their guidelines and apply at: http://www.ndhumanities.org/quick-grants.html

Kinder Morgan Foundation

Application deadline: 10th of each month

The Kinder Morgan Foundation’s mission is to provide today’s youth with opportunities to learn and grow. Their goal is to help today’s science, math, and music students become the engineers, educators, and musicians who will support diverse communities for many years to come. They fund programs that promote the academic and artistic interests of young people in the cities and towns where Kindred Morgan operates. Grants range between $1,000 and $5,000. Eligibility requirements and application forms are accessible on their site: http://www.kindermorgan.com/pages/community/km_foundation_guidelines.aspx

2017 Teens’ Top Ten Nominees Have Been Announced

In case you haven’t already heard: YALSA has announced the Teens’ Top Ten nominees for 2017!

The list is comprised of the 26 books, along with summaries, that were nominated and chosen by teens as the favorites from 2016. Now is a great time to encourage the teens at your library to read the nominees, so they will be ready to vote for their favorites between August 15 and Teen Read Week (October 8-14, 2017).  Winners will be announced the week of October 15.

The nominee list and other information, including a guide on how to promote the books, a downloadable toolkit, and answers to frequently asked questions, can be found here: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/teenstopten

State Library Has A Drone!

Attention North Dakota libraries! The State Library now has a drone! The DJI Phantom 3: Drone Kit is available in KitKeeper. The kit includes a drone and an iPad for shooting and editing digital video. The kit only circulates to public and school libraries in North Dakota, and it be checked out up to 8 weeks. To reserve the drone kit or to learn more about it, visit KitKeeper at: http://www.eventkeeper.com/kitkeeper/index.cfm?curOrg=nodak

drone

Book Lists – YA

Looking for a good YA book to read? Looking for a good YA book to recommend to your patrons? Looking for a good YA book to add to your collection? If so, here are some great lists for you!

Adult Programming Resources

The following is a list of resources relating to adult programming and the 2017 Renewal & Development session “Adults Only: Adult Programming in Public Libraries.”

Resources for “Adults Only: Adult Programming in Public Libraries” (2017 R&D Session)

State Library Resources

Other Resources

Reading Without Walls

Reading Without Walls is a reading challenge program for April created through a partnership between the Children’s Book Council, Every Child a Reader, Library of Congress, and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.  Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and has done the artwork for the program.

Books act like windows when they show us the lives of people who are different from us.  The Reading Without Walls program asks our young people to explore the world through books by challenging them to:

  1. Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you
  2. Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about
  3. Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun

This program aims to promote diversity and open readers’ eyes to new ideas and experiences.  Reading Without Walls is an inclusive way to spread appreciation and understanding for others – and to learn new and exciting things.

What can YOU do to read without walls?

The box comes with a poster (wall and easel standup), activity book, stickers, bookmarks and pins.  There is also downloadable content!

The State Library received one box and wants to send it to a library that will consider doing this program (sorry for the short notice!)

Please respond to the Facebook post by 3:00 p.m., Friday, March 31 and we’ll pick one lucky random library to receive it!

Contact Kristin Byram at ndslpa@nd.gov with any questions.

Book Lists

Looking for a good book to read? Looking for a good book to recommend to your patrons? Looking for a good book to add to your collection? If so, here are some great lists for you!