Weeding, Part 1Posted: September 4, 2012 | Author: Tony Greiner | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: weeding | 3 Comments »
‘Weeding will increase circulation.’
Really? Any weeding at all? Of course, you need a method to weed properly. The problem is, too many of us were never taught the right method.
Probably the most common method is C.R.E.W. (Continuous Review Evaluation and Weeding) It was developed by the Texas State Library, and gives guidelines of how long to keep materials in various disciplines. Here is a link to a pdf, last updated in 2008:
There are worse ways to weed, but I’m not entirely happy with it. My gripes with CREW are two:
1. It relies on someone else’s idea of what your collection should be like- not what your library’s readers want.
2. There has never (to my knowledge) been any sort of study to show if weeding by the CREW method makes for a better, more responsive collection. It ‘sounds right’, but we don’t know if it is right.
There is a companion method to C.R.E.W., the acronym ‘MUSTIE’ Misleading, Ugly’ Superseded (new editions have come out); Trivial; Irrelevant; Elsewhere (may easily be obtained elsehwere.)
These are cute, but I’m uneasy about UGLY and ELSEWHERE. I see people reading all sorts of ugly books. I think ugly bothers librarians more than it does readers. I especially dislike weeding an item that continues to get use simply on condition. If the reader doesn’t mind condition, why should the librarian?
And Elsewhere? You gonna pitch your copies of “50 Shades of Grey” because it is readily available? What about LOCKSS? (Lots of copies keeps stuff safe.)
Next time: If CREW ain’t right, what is?