Collection Evaluation and Weeding

Conducted by Kayla Jackson

Weeding the 520 section of the SEBMS Library

The 520 section was chosen for this year's first round of reading. The section is all about Astronomy, from blackholes to planets to stars, anything you would want to learn about the universe that surrounds us is in the 520s. However, we are constantly learning more and more about space, and as our ideas and understandings of space change and update, our books need to change and update with them.

Use of Data Evaluation

The astronomy section of the library is relatively small, totaling 149 books. Only sections 520, 522, 523, 525, and 526 have books in this library, while sections 521, 524, 527, 528, and 529 do not. Below is a break down of the totals in each section.
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As you can see, section 523 makes up the largest part of the astronomy collection. This section is dedicated to the Celestial Bodies and Phenomena, such as the planets, blackholes, supernovas, etc. Second greatest but much smaller than section 523 is section 520, which is where one would find a biography of an astronomer. The last four sections each have 10 or fewer items in their collection.

Overall, the average age of the books in this collection is 16 years old, many of them being published in or around 1999. Below is a chart depicting the average ages for books in each section of the astronomy collection.

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Section 523 is not only the largest collection of in this group, but also averages as one of the oldest, tied only with 526 whose collection only contains two books. This tells me that I will definitely need to pay close attention to this collection and possibly focus my weeding here.

As far as how frequently these books circulate, the numbers are not very high compared to the number of books in the collection. Below I have created a line graph depicting how many books from each section have circulated this year versus how many books have circulated in each section total.

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There is a clear correlation here between the largest section of the astronomy collection and the section that circulates the most; both prizes go to section 523 on Celestial Bodies and Phenomena. The number that surprises me, however, is that of section 526. There are only two books in section 526, and neither one of them has ever been checked out, at least not according to the records the librarian was able to give. While I'm not sure how far back these records run, it is interesting and noteworthy that these two books have never been checked out. This may make them candidates for weeding.

Evaluation of Curricular Needs

Astronomy plays an important role in the sixth grade curriculum and standards. The following are the current Georgia standards for sixth grade science dealing specifically with space and the universe:

S6E1. Students will explore current scientific views of the universe and how those views evolved.

a. Relate the Nature of Science to the progression of basic historical scientific models

(geocentric, heliocentric) as they describe our solar system, and the Big Bang as it

describes the formation of the universe.

b. Describe the position of the solar system in the Milky Way galaxy and the universe. c. Compare and contrast the planets in terms of Size relative to the earth Surface and atmospheric features Relative distance from the sun Ability to support life

d. Explain the motion of objects in the day/night sky in terms of relative position.

e. Explain that gravity is the force that governs the motion in the solar system.

f. Describe the characteristics of comets, asteroids, and meteors.

S6E2. Students will understand the effects of the relative positions of the earth, moon and sun.

a. Demonstrate the phases of the moon by showing the alignment of the earth,

moon, and sun.

b. Explain the alignment of the earth, moon, and sun during solar and lunar eclipses. c. Relate the tilt of the earth to the distribution of sunlight throughout the year and

its effect on climate.

According the school librarian, many of the books from this section of the library are used when 6th grade teachers are conducting their units on space and Astronomy. The students may not check the books out, but their teachers may bring them into the library to do research, at which time the students may use the books. Therefore, this section does serve a purpose in our library and should certainly be kept. However, there is a major issue.

As I said before, much about space and our understanding of it has changed since the time period when these books were written. With the average age of the books in this section being 16 years old, it is likely that many of the books contain information that is no longer valid, has been proven false, or has been since clarified. The biggest discrepancy I have found thus far is the inclusion of Pluto as a planet. This changed in 2006, but since many of the books in the 523 section come way before this time, they include incorrect information about Pluto and its planetary status.

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Weeding List

I am submitting the following books for disposal:

Sky and Earth from the "A Child's First Library of Learning" series

Published in 1989, this book is extremely out of date. Using the MUSTY acronym, I found the information in this book to be misleading, due mainly to Pluto being named the ninth planet. Also, the book has seen better days. While it is still intact, it is very much out of style and therefore unappealing to the eye of potential readers.

Space: Stars, Planets, and Spacecraft by Sue Becklake

This book was published in 1991, making it over 20 years old. Once again, we run into the problem of this book containing information that states that Pluto is one of the nine planets, rather than labeling Pluto as what we now call a dwarf planet. Since much of this book is about the planets, this misleading information greatly depreciates the educational value of this book. Therefore, it needs to be discarded.

Black Holes by Don Nardo

While this book was not published as long ago as the others (2003), it has obviously been read much more. Using the MUSTY acronym again, I decided that this book needs to be disposed of based on its appearance. It's binding is coming loose, and a few of its pages are coming unglued. It has already been repaired with book tape, and so the only logical next step is to get rid of it.

Astronomy by Kristen Lippincott

My reasoning for weeding this particular book is that there is a much newer, more up to date version in the library the supersedes it. The version I am proposing weeding was published in 1994, while the newer version was published in 2001.

1,001 Ideas for Science Projects by Marion A. Brisk

This selection, published in 1992, is in very rough shape. It is a paperback edition, and while much of the information could be correct (other than the model of the solar system), it is dilapidated. I suggest weeding this selection, but then finding a more up-to-date edition that is preferably in hardback.

Disposal of Weeded Items

The Bulloch County Board of Education School Properties Disposal Procedures are as follows:
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According to librarian, our first step in disposing of my weeded items is to get signed clearance from an administrator at the school. Once we get an administrator's approval, we send a list of the books to the Board for review. After the Board has given us permission to dispose of the books listed, we post the items on GovDeals, a website where school materials can be resold to other schools for a greatly reduced price. The books will be posted together in bulk and left on the page for 7-10 days. If after that time the books have not sold, we donate the books to "Keep Bulloch Beautiful," a non-profit community service organization in Statesboro that will recycle the books.