Does your school system use Destiny? If not, you can skip my post this month, but if you do then here’s a little trick I’ve figured out to help with weeding.
I’ve learned that weeding is one of those tasks that is best done little and often. If you wait for a big shining quiet spot on the calendar to get a whole bunch of it finished at once, you will be waiting forever. So I prefer to pull only a few books at a time and delete them whenever I get a chance. Once I’ve filled a number of boxes, I ship them out and start over. It’s a continual process but makes me happy to be getting rid of the massive amounts of dead wood my library has accumulated over the past sixteen or so years.
The normal way I believe people weed is to print out a collection management report from either Follett or someone else. You pick a section and it lists all the books that are past the fifteen year copyright date. Some of those books will be good to weed. Some of them are okay to keep. It takes a while to figure all of this out.
But one thing you can do before you start with this report is to go into Destiny first. One of your report options is “Top/Bottom Titles.” This will show you the top or bottom circulating titles in any given Dewey range you’d like. It’s an interesting thing to play with anyway, but for our purposes today you want to select the bottom titles in whatever section and give it a nice long time period. I put something crazy in like, “past 30 years” to make sure I’m getting all the information I can.
The thing that knocked me out was that as old as my collection is, in pretty much every section I ran this on I found books that had been checked out exactly ZERO times. Now to be fair, it really only means they’ve been checked out zero times since we got Destiny in 2004. The books might have checked out a couple of times before that. But that’s still eight long years seeing no action. This is the easiest weeding you’ll ever do!
It’s freaky too, when you go over to a shelf stuffed with old books, find the title and pull it off the shelf. It’s usually a very bland, monochromatic Bound-to-Stay-Bound book that creaks when you open it. It really never has circulated! It’s usually not surprising when you see it, either. It’ll be some thing like All About Wood with a copyright date of 1984 or something. Weed it!
And don’t stop with the zeroes, either. I figure those books that circulate less than once a year (seven times or less for me) are just not paying their rent, if you get my meaning. Seek them out and weed them! You’ll be glad you did.