Collection Evaluation WCHS Library

LaRae Thornton

I choose this section is because I have heard the science, technology, and agriculture teachers complain about the lack of current information in this section of the media center. My mistake was choosing a section so large and in much need of weeding. When I went to the online card catalogue and did a search in this section I made the mistake of limiting my search from 9th grade to post graduate reading levels. This yielded a list of 36 books. The mistake was discovered when I went to the media center to examine the books. I found there were 334 books in this section. I had not taken into account the books that were not on reading level, but are needed for the reading challenged students in the high school. The Wayne County High School media center contains 12,144 books in print.

How can my mistake lead to data generation for the 550 to 599 section?

My mistake leads to the following discovery. Approximately 9 out of 10 books are below grade level for reading and 9 out of 10 students are not below reading grade levels at the high school. The other discovery is that the average age of the books in this section was 44 years. This to me is a tragedy because scientists are always making new discoveries and technology is expanding exponentially, thus the information in this section is out of date and the students' knowledge expansion is limited by not having more appropriate books on their reading level. As seen below in the two tables you will see the average age and the number of check outs this year of the books in intervals of size 10. Only 12 books have been checked out in this huge section this year. This is due to the fact of age of books and curriculum changes over the past few years and the use of internet research for this section has become more up to date and accurate.
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Curricular Needs for the 550-599 section and Reasons for Weeding

Links to Standards for Courses Offered by Wayne County High School:

Biology Environmental Science Human Anatomy Basic Agriculture


Forest Science Animal Science & Biotechnology Plant Science & Biotechnology


Foundations of Engineering and Technology


Found above are the courses that focus mainly on the 550-599 section of the media center at WCHS. There are too many standards to list on this production, but you may go to the links above to see the standards used by these courses.

Evaluation of the topics:


550-559 Only 2 out of 54 have been checked out in this section this year.


  • Earth Science is taught in middle school offer old books that are in good condition (3) and are still accurate. 6th grade standard: S6CS5. Students will use the ideas of system, model, change, and scale in exploring scientific and technological matters. a. Observe and explain how parts are related to other parts in systems such as weather systems, solar systems, and ocean systems including how the output from one part of a system (in the form of material, energy, or information) can become the input to other parts. (For example: El Nino’s effect on weather)
  • Pull any books published prior to 1970 the material is outdated. 15 books to recycle
  • Replace no books at this time there is no curricular need.


560-569 0 out of 10 books have been checked out in this section this year.


  • Fossils, prehistoric life, and dinosaurs are found in this section. These topics do not meet curriculum needs of the high school, however may be interesting to some. They do meet the needs of 7th grade students: S7L5. Students will examine the evolution of living organisms through inherited characteristics that promote survival of organisms and the survival of successive generations of their offspring. a. Explain that physical characteristics of organisms have changed over successive generations (e.g. Darwin’s finches and peppered moths of Manchester).
  • Pull any books published prior to 1970 the material is outdated and new discoveries have been made. 4 books to recycle.
  • Replace no books at this time.


570-579 0 out of 125 books have been checked out in this section this year.


  • Pull any books published prior to 1970 the material is outdated and new discoveries have been made. 62 books to recycle.
  • 570 Life Sciences, 572 Human Races, 573 Physical Anthropology, 574 Biology, 575 Evolution and Genetics, 576 Microbiology, 577 General Nature of Life, 578 Microscopy in Biology, and 579 Collection and Preservation are topics that include standards for the courses listed above. When I asked teachers why they did not utilize the media center for these topics their comments were the material is outdated. We have to use the internet.


580-589 Only 2 out of 37 books have been checked out in this section this year.


  • 580 Botanical Sciences, 581 Botany, 582 Spermatophyta, 583 Dicotyledones, 584 Monocotyledones, 587 Pteridophyta, and 589 Thallobionta & Prokaryotae topics are the only sections covered in this media center. These topics tie in with Enviromental Science, Biology, and Plant Biology Courses.
  • Pull books published prior to 1970. 18 books need to be recycled. 2 in this age category were kept because topic was still relevant and the books were in excellent condition.


590-599 8 out of 105 books have been checked out in this section this year.


  • 590 Zoological Sciences, 591 Zoology, 592 Invertebrates, 593 Protozoa, Echinodermata, related phyla, 594 Mollusca & Molluscoidea, 595 Other Invertebrates, 596 Vertebrata (Craniata, Vertebrates), 597 Cold-blooded Vertebrates Fishes, 598 Aves (Birds), and 599 Mammalia are topics used in Biology and Animal Science courses at the high school.
  • Pull books published prior to 1970. 41 books need to be recycled.
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Is there a way to save money?

As you can see from the above tables the amount of cost involved in replacing books is staggering. Now the replacement will need to be staggered over several years due to lack of funds. This is why librarians must stay on top of weeding so that the cost is manageable and does not overwhelm the budget.

Try this EBSCO answer Patron Driven Acquisition a digital solution to supply, demand, and money.

Wayne County Media Center Weeding Policies

The Wayne County System has no formal media center weeding policies in place. By interviewing several media specialists in the system it seems that common sense and cash flow are the major determining factors that drive the weeding process. Another determining factor is how teachers and students use the media center with the curriculum. The media specialist at the high school said these were the main things she looked at when weeding printed materials, but media specialists at each school may determine their own policy:


  • Budget
  • Teacher Use
  • Student Use and Requests
  • Physical Condition
  • Relationship with current curriculum


Once it is determined to weed a book these are the disposal techniques used:


  • If the book is in good condition, but is not used by high school students it is offered to lower grades or the public library.
  • If the book is current but damaged or completely unusable a new book is ordered and the book is disposed.
  • If the books are out of date or have inaccurate information they are disposed of and replaced with newer and more accurate books.
  • Books are offered to classroom teachers for their personal use or for projects.
  • If no one else wants the books the binding is removed and the books are recycled because our school has a paper recycling policy.

List of Books Weeded due to age or condition.

  1. Geology made simple........................................................................William H. Matthews
  2. Science probes the earth; new frontiers of geology......................William H. Matthews
  3. The Earth beneath us.........................................................................Kirtley F. Mather
  4. The world of ice...................................................................................James Lindsey Dyson
  5. Earthquakes: new scientific ideas about how and why.................Patricia Lauber
  6. Our quaking Earth..............................................................................Elliot B. Roberts
  7. The sea around us..............................................................................Rachel Carson
  8. The sea.................................................................................................Leonard Engel
  9. Exploring the ocean world; a history of oceanography.................C.P. Idyll editor
  10. The mountains....................................................................................Lorus Johnson Milne
  11. Exploring the secrets of the sea.......................................................William J. Cromie
  12. Skywatchers; the U. S. Weather Bureau in action..........................William Bixby
  13. The science of Weather.....................................................................John A. Day
  14. Weathercasting..................................................................................Charles Laird
  15. The ways of the air............................................................................Roger Pilkington
  16. The hurricane hunters......................................................................Ivan Ray Tannehill
  17. Weather..............................................................................................Phillip D. Thompson
  18. Prehistoric animals...........................................................................William Scheele
  19. Life of the past; an introduction to paleontology.........................George G. Simpson
  20. Shell life & shell collecting................................................................Sonia g. Murray