Collection Weeding and Evaluation

Venita Allmond - FRIT 7332 Spr 2016

Looking at Chemistry and Physics & Allied Fields Books

The purpose of the middle school physical science course it to teach students the necessary skills to help them gain knowledge which in turn will provide an easy transition to high school chemistry and physics classes. The Georgia science standards state 'The purpose is to give all students an overview of common strands in physical science, including but not limited to, the nature of matter, and the laws of energy, motion and forces, matter, and energy transformations.'

Students are also required to complete a science fair project which follows standard S8CS9 - Students will understand the features of the process of scientific inquiry. To do this, outside resources are needed for research purposes. Information needs to be updated and current to show the new and exciting changes in our understanding of the world of physics and chemistry. Books are an important part of that process in both physical and digital forms. Lewis Frasier Middle School is committed to helping students in this endeavor and tries to keep books in the collection relevant to topics often associated with chemistry and physics.

As a teacher who has taught 8th grade physical science for several years, I am well versed in the needs of a good, well rounded collection of research materials for student use in the library.

Data Evaluation

Non-fiction was weeded extensively 2 years ago but the media specialist feels that a more in-depth review of the section I chose - 530-549.9 - and how it aligns with the standards would be beneficial. I was not able to get circulation data for individual books within this section but have data that is useful to give a picture of the Natural Science/Mathematics sections as it pertains to the overall non-fiction collection as well as how Physics and Chemistry relates to the Natural Science/Mathematics section . The figures used are from the TitleWise 2014-1015 LFMS Analysis.
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Curricular Needs

Students need to have a wide variety of books to help them with their research for science fair projects. These include books that can help suggest experiments and books that give them background research to help them determine hypotheses to consider. Students are also required to enhance read across the curriculum including non-fiction. They need books to help them establish subject content in context with life experiences. The books in the Lewis Frasier media center Natural Science section better reflects the needs of the 8th grade before the major science shift which occurred for the 2007-2008 school year. This shift 'flipped' the academic year when Earth and Physical Science was to be taught. Prior to '08-'09, 8th graders were in Earth science. The media center's book collection is still reflective of the 'older' curriculum in the number of books for Earth science (169) vs. Physical Science (90).
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Items to be weeded

The Liberty County School District's policy on weeding a collection includes three parts:
  • Number of years since last copyright - age of book
  • Number of years since last recorded checkout
  • Presence of negative factors using MUSTY for determination

There are other justifications that might be included such as space, too much outdated material within book, inappropriate for curricula needs or doesn't meet student needs.

Using the above given policy parameters, I would propose to weed the following books from the Lewis Frasier Middle School library:

Simple Physics Experiments with Everyday Materials (1993) - outdated; newer titles

Light Magic (1994) - too elementary; similar titles on grade level

Science Through Art - Air (1992) - too elementary; similar titles on grade level

Experimenting with Sound (1991) - outdated; similar titles

Optics (1987) - material outdated

The Super Science Book of Light (1993) - from defunct elementary school; similar titles

Exploring Sound (1989) - outdated; similar titles

The Way It Works - Electricity (1991) - newer edition on shelf

Power Up (1989) - too elementary; similar titles on grade level

Sparks to Power Stations (1989) - outdated; similar title available

Exploring Magnets (1989) - outdated; similar title available

Chemistry for Every Kid - 101 Experiments (1989) - outdated; newer titles available

The media center does not adhere to district guideline that science books are usually out of date within 5 years. My project showed that if this were strictly adhered to, there would only be 5 books in the 530-549.9 section of the Natural Sciences. What I did was eliminate anything published before 1990 and look at the material contained in the books to determine if the information was still relevant to the science curriculum today.

Disposal of weeded books

Although there is a policy to determine books to be weeded, there is no set district policy on how the weeded books are to discarded once they are removed from the library database. Materials are usually donated for classroom use. If no teachers partake of the materials, they are usually sent to the district office to be included in the annual district yard sale.