Saturday, August 04, 2007

Using Tech to "Deselect"

I just finished up a part-time summer job at a local university library. I was involved with a "deselection" or weeding project there. I noticed that books were more popular (had more circulation) there than they are at the tech college.

Reasons for this could be:
  • Tech students get their info electronically
  • Liberal arts classes are more likely to use text resources
Categories that saw high circulation were:

  • Broadcasting & communication
  • Marriage & Family
  • Sex (of course--this is popular in any format it seems)
I compiled lists for purchase from a WorldCat search for these and related topics. I deduced that the best books would be books held by many libraries (over 100). This is sort of like the Googlization of collection development.

While I noticed that majority of newer titles currently on the shelf had good circ (signed out within the last 7 years), I also noticed that those newer titles that had no circulation within that time period seemed to be good purchases, had attractive covers, and were cataloged in an area where they could be easily found. Why didn't they get checked out?

I think it's high time we cut back on our book purchases and start cataloging quality websites in earnest. Can we track usage of these sites once they are cataloged to see if our efforts are working?

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