Collection evaluation, Weeding, Process, Virtual Review Shelf, Collaboration


A library construction project led our library’s Science & Engineering Department to take on a massive evaluation of the entire science print collection and reduce the collection footprint by at least 36% within a 12 month period. In order to improve access, reduce the footprint, strengthen the robustness of our collection, and complete the project in an effective and timely manner, a methodology of how to choose, select, evaluate, and move the entire collection of over 360,000 items had to be established and vetted. A plan was developed between the library’s Science & Engineering Department and teams from collection development, information technology, physical facilities, and technical services. Workflows were developed and refined to streamline the review and removal of items from the shelves. A GIS enabled map of the collection facilitated real-time evaluation of project advancement. An electronic review shelf was developed for virtual review of deselected materials that provided professorial faculty and library employees an opportunity to give feedback on books proposed for deselection. Each librarian developed a fundamental and deeper understanding of all the materials under their stewardship. More than 120,000 items were selected, reviewed and sent to on-site storage or deselected from the collection. Transparency, planning and proper resources with considerable hard work were vital for success. Collaboration with essential components of the library was key to the successful completion of the collection evaluation and eventual movement of the science collection. The winnowing of appropriate materials has made the existing collection easier to locate physically and online.

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Harold B. Lee Library

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor