Print Monograph Collection Evaluation in a Small Academic Library In Preparation for Large-Scale Weeding
Fortner, Elizabeth J.
Valdosta State University
MLIS capstone paper featuring a literature review and pilot study based on a proposed low-cost, workable collection evaluation method for a small academic library. The Main Collection of the Asa H. Gordon Library at Savannah State University is the monograph collection used for the proposal and pilot study.
The Main Collection of circulating print monographs at Savannah State University’s Asa H. Gordon Library has not undergone large-scale weeding in some time, although such a project has been proposed in recent years. This collection currently contains many outdated and worn materials and occupies a significant amount of space, some of which could potentially be repurposed into more collaborative areas for students or to house new technologies. To focus future deselection efforts in a cost-efficient and feasible manner, an index score based on relevancy, currency, and usage will be determined for each Library of Congress (LC) class in the collection. This research will identify which LC classes in the Main Collection are most in need of weeding, as well as provide information about the nature of the items in each LC section. This will be accomplished by individually scoring a random sample of books and averaging the scores for each LC class. A pilot study was conducted on one LC class, the Qs, to test the methodology. After scoring of all classes is completed, the classes will be ordered by index score to show which sections are most in need of weeding and updating based on their current holdings. An overall score for the collection will also be determined by averaging the scores for all LC classes, to generate a measure of the overall collection’s relevancy and quality. This process will help staff at the Gordon Library make data-driven decisions regarding prioritization of different LC classes for weeding and will also provide hard numbers for assessment purposes. Additionally, staff at other libraries may become better informed in their own planning of evaluation and weeding projects by reviewing the case study and reasoning presented by this research.