Collection Evaluation and Weeding

History 940s - 960s

Why Choose History?

Our recent conversion to Common Core standards makes our non-fiction collection a vital piece of our curriculum. Teachers are always asking for more science and history texts to use in their classroom. Our sixth and seventh grade social studies standards also focus on Europe, Asia, and Africa, so we need this section of the media center to be current and up to date.

Because many of these books are related to specific countries, we want to make sure that the titles are up to date, given world events over the past fifteen years. The standards require that students understand how governments, economic systems, politics, and recent change affect each country. While most students use the internet for research on these topics, we do not want our print collection to give them outdated or even incorrect information.

I am hoping to completely revamp the history section of our media center to be engaging and useful to students.

Evaluation of Collection - Data

In evaluating this section, I began by running a report that gave me the activity, age, and turnover rate of each minor classification section. The report gave data from November, 2008 to November, 2013, a five year period. I looked at the total number of items in each minor classification, the total number of circulations, the turnover rate (total circulations/total items), and the average publication year.

940 Section
  • Total Items = 34
  • Total Circulation = 13 check-outs
  • Turnover Rate = 0.3824
  • Average Publication Year = 2000

950 Section

  • Total Items = 40
  • Total Circulation = 3
  • Turnover Rate = 0.0750
  • Average Publication Year = 2000

960 Section

  • Total Items = 28
  • Total Circulation = 2
  • Turnover Rate = 0.0714
  • Average Publication Year = 1997

Circulation - Last 5 Years

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Publication Dates

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Evaluation of Collection - Curricular Needs

Our sixth and seventh grade social studies standards require students to study Europe, Asia, and Africa (among other areas). As mentioned above, they study all aspects of countries, political, geographical, historical, and economic. 63% of these titles are general books about countries of Europe, Africa, and Asia. These books, excluding the outdated nature of many, are directly aligned with the social studies curriculum. 22% are historical, and 10% are about specific cultures or ethnic groups within countries. The remainder are picture books that are related to the standards. In addition, there is an entire collection of Festivals of the World, which are housed together in another area of the media center, some of which belong in this classification. All of these history and cultural titles are relatively current, accurate, and appealing. However, they are by no means comprehensive, and more titles are needed to meet the curricular needs of our grade levels. Overall, this section is aligned with our curriculum, but is somewhat dated which requires some weeding of otherwise relevant titles. No titles will be weeded because they are irrelevant to our current curriculum.

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Summary of Weeding Data

The data shows an outdated, underused collection in general. Circulation statistics are extremely low, although the circulation statistics for the entire collection is low. Overall, this media center had 2,531 circulations (not including fiction titles) over the last 5 years. The 940s -960s accounted for only 18 of those circulations or 0.7% of the circulation. In addition, the great majority of these books were published between the years 1996 - 2001, which means that they are not current, especially given the changes over the last few years in Asia and Africa. Although all books are aligned with our current standards, the outdated nature of many of the titles means that some need to be discarded. The dilemma is going to be how to weed these classifications without gutting them completely.

Atlanta Public Schools uses the CREW manual for weeding by Jeanette Larson which is published by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

CREW Guidelines for 900s

Guidebooks (such as the Fodor series or Mobil travel guides) are outdated within a year or two. Keep no longer than three years. Historical travel guides, especially those that deal with local attractions (books about Route 66, for example), may be kept longer for archival purposes if interest exists.

Watch for changes in country names and for political changes that result in new or reformed countries. (Weed books that still refer to the USSR rather than individual countries, for example.) Atlases should be current, except for historical atlases, and replaced after major changes in political divisions occur .

Click on the title to view this glogster on a bigger screen.
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Disposal of Media Center Material Policy - Atlanta Public Schools

Discarding items from the media center eliminates inaccurate and out-of-date information and ensures that obsolete, damaged, and under- utilized materials are removed from the collections. Media center materials (books, videos, filmstrips, software, records, cassettes, etc.) NOT TEXTBOOKS OR FEDERALLY FUNDED ITEMS, purchased for your media center collection that may be too worn or too dated to be of value to your school may be discarded from your collection.

The following steps need to be taken to prepare materials for discarding:
  1. Remove items from the library automation system database
  2. Clearly mark each title "DISCARD" or "SURPLUS"
  3. Remove or darken completely all barcodes and labels.

Once items have been prepared for disposal they should be discarded at the school level. Do not send discarded materials to the warehouse.

Action Plan for Disposal

  • All books will first be offered to the students to take home. Our students are disadvantaged and often have little to no books of their own. Many of them jump at the chance to take home titles.
  • Books left over will be used by the art teacher for book art projects. If the art teacher is not interested, the media specialist will use book art projects as a culmination to the book club's year. Students can get ideas from this pinterest board or come up with their own projects.