Collection Evaluation and Weeding
Livia Daniel - Georgia Southern University - FRIT 7332
Content Focus and Justification
I also tried to keep the acronym that both Allen and Gail Dickinson used in their articles, MUSTY. Gail Dickinson wrote in "Crying over Spilled Milk," that "Weeding is selection in reverse- literally deselection." She included exactly what MUSTY stood for along with the acronym CREW. Both of these acronyms make weeding a little bit easier and less overwhelming. As I was weeding, I tried to keep asking myself the following questions:
- Is the book torn up?
-Does the book look outdated?
-Does the book look absolutely untouched?
Evaluation: Use of Data
Keeping my conversation in mind with the media specialist I went to the World War II selection in our school library. I picked up books that looked outdated/torn and books that appeared unused. I took my selection back to the media specialist and he was able to pull up our school's Destiny report. He typed in each book I had selected and I was shocked as he told me that each and every book I had selected had NEVER been checked out! I have attached the chart the media specialist sent to me with the books that I chose to weed.
Evaluation: Curricular Needs
SSWH18 The student will demonstrate an understanding of the global political, economic, and social impact of World War II.
World War II is addressed in not only the United States History standards, but also in the World History standards. Students are usually required to write an essay on World War II in World History and this nonfiction selection on the topic is very out-dated. For students to learn and practice their historical research skills and essay writing skills, the library's collection needs to be updated. Melissa Allen writes in "Read 'Em and Weep: The Art of Weeding to Avoid Criticism," that "Only resources that actually circulate have a value within the collection." Each book I selected had never been checked out. This means they are merely wasting space in the library. The newly-generated space could be used for more modern books on World War II.
The pie graph below gives insight into when books on World War II are checked out by students. The essay assignment on World War II is given at the end of October and students are given a month to work on it. They can turn it in before the due date for feedback and resubmit. Judging by the chart below, a few students get an early start on their assignment in October, while the bulk of them work on it in November (the due date is usually around the end of November). It appears some students still check out World War II books in December, after the due date. One can assume they have gained an interest in World War II because of the essay assignment or they are turning their assignment in well past the due date.
1) United States PT Boats of World War II by Frank D. Johnson
Rationale: This book has never been checked out from the Swainsboro High School media center. If you google this book, it is actually listed on Amazon.com as a collectible! It was published in 1983.
2) World War II Almanac: 1931-1945 by Robert Goralski
Rationale: Once again this book has never been checked out and any image inside of it is black and white. The book was published in 1987.
3) The War in the Desert: TIME Life World War II Series
Rationale: The book has never been checked out. It was published in 1977. All images in the book are in black and white.
4) The World Almanac of World War II: The Complete and Comprehensive Documentary of World War II
Rationale: The book has yet again, never been checked out. When students are required to write the essay on World War II, this book would probably never be checked out due to its' general information over all of World War II. Students are required to choose a specific topic from World War II and this book would not be very helpful for their assignment. It was published in 1992.
5) The Naval War Against Hitler by Donald Macintyre
Rationale: This book was published in 1971, making it extremely outdated. No one has ever checked this book out from Swainsboro High School's library.
6) World War II (The Second World War) by John Keegan
Rationale: This book was published in 1990. Every picture is in black and white. This book has never been checked out.
Melissa Allen and Gail Dickinson both provided multiple uses for discarded books. Students can use them for projects, they can be used for decorations, they can be given to charities, donated to the public library, etc. I have actually used discarded books from our middle school as bookends in my home! Both articles provided multiple charities that take used books. My media specialist encouraged me to take a "fake" picture for this assignment holding the books above the trash can, that he called the "weeding can". He took the picture for me! The books selected for this assignment were not actually weeded from Swainsboro High School's media center.
If it was totally up to me, I would see if teachers at Swainsboro High School or students at the school might be interested in taking the books. If not, I would check with the media specialists at all the other schools in our county. If no one was interested still, I would contact the public library in town. If our public library was not interested in the books, then I would contact our local thrift store to see if they might like the books or contact the link Melissa Allen included in her article, prisonbookprogram.org.
Allen, M. (2010). Weed 'em and reap: The art of weeding to avoid criticism. LMC, 28(6), 32-33.
Collection Evaluation and Weeding powerpoint.
Dickinson, G. (2005). Crying over spilled milk. LMC, 23(7), 24-26.
Ford, D.B. (2011). Facts: Just the facts! Evaluating your nonfiction collection. LMC, 29(5), 5.