Evaluating & Weeding: LANGUAGES (Dewey Section.400)

By Atilia Berry (FRIT 7332)

The importance of "Weeding" the language section

The language section for many libraries is a fairly small one in comparison to other sections. With the changing demographics of many Atlanta schools, I decided to weed a grade 6-12 charter school library. This section generally contains books that focus on Spanish, Grammar, History of Languages, French, Spanish, & Latin dictionaries ( some libraries include these in the reference section). The field of languages and linguistics is overall stable and not very time sensitive, so the purpose for weeding this section will be to eliminate mostly based on condition. It is important to remember that often times dictionaries may be used more within the library as opposed to being checked out. With foreign languages being incorporated into the k-12 curriculum in Georgia, it is important that the language section have learning materials that reflect the needs and interest of the school community.


It is important to use library data and school demographics to accurately decided which items need to be both weeded and added. Fulton Leadership Academy, an all boys grades 6-12 charter school is a diverse mix of African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, and Asian population. The language courses offered by the school are French, Spanish, and Latin with the most popular being Spanish. According to the library media specialist, the total number of books in the language section is 148. The books that are currently checked out from the section is 18. Many students will come into the library to quickly access language dictionaries for a particular assignment rather than checking them out. Also, students are required to purchase a language dictionaries at the beginning of the school year.
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Evaluation of Curriculum

Over the last 5 years, Georgia has experienced many of the same demographic shifts as the rest of the U.S. According to the Georgia Department of Education, "Regional expertise, cross-cultural competence, and advanced language proficiency are no longer skills reserved only for those who plan for a career overseas - they are skills that will enhance any career field,"
From kindergarten up to 12th grade, a modern language curriculum has been put into place. This incorporates Spanish, Latin, and also sign language.The library/media center should provide an abundance of resources for students to achieve the following standards provided by the Georgia Performance Standards on Modern Languages:

  • To equip students with realistic lifelong skills that will enable them to function competently in a language other than their own and communicate and compete effectively in the global community and marketplace;
  • To instill a greater awareness of their own culture and the culture(s) of others;
  • To enrich students' lives by increasing their appreciation for language and culture.



Books to Weed

Items weeded due to damage, torn/missing pages
  • A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (General Grammar) by Randolph Quirk
  • Harper Collins Spanish Dictionary/Spanish-English

    by Harper Collins
  • Spanish All-in-One For Dummies by Consumer Dummies

  • Excelability in Advanced Latin (A Path to Success on Latin College Entrance and Latin Placement Examinations) by Marianthe Colakis
  • Write Soon! (College ESL) Paperback – by Eileen Prince

Disposal of Weeded Items

Currently the library will dispose of weeded books by either donating them to a local charity or an after school book sale where the books are sold for $2.00 or less. The money raised from the book sale will go directly back to the purchase of new items. This process has been utilized by the school library and is acceptable according to current library standards and policies. Another possible option for books that are extremely damaged is to recycle the paper from the book so that it can be reused. There are business and websites that will do this for the school at no cost.