Weeding Project

Dear ESU Faculty and Students,

Kemp Library is about to undergo some major changes to its collections. We, the ESU librarians are beginning a project to evaluate our holdings in order to better serve you, our patrons.

The Collection Weeding and Consolidation Project will involve the careful and systematic removal of materials that are no longer appropriate to the Kemp Library collection. Faculty members are encouraged to take an active role in this project.

We’re sure you have lots of questions. We’ve anticipated some of them. We will add more questions/answers to this list as you ask so please contact us with other questions you have about this ongoing project.

  • What is Collection Weeding and Consolidation?
    • In this case, Collection Weeding and Consolidation means going through our holdings and deselecting and removing works from the library collection based on a number of criteria, mostly having to do with things like usage and duplication in other formats.
  • Are you getting rid of all of your books?
    • No.
  • Why are you doing this?
    • There are several reasons. Most importantly is that we want the Kemp collection to be an up-to-date, robust academic collection that supports ESU’s curriculum and research interests. That’s really the goal. The problem is that systematic collection review and removal of materials that for one reason or another are no longer appropriate is supposed to be a normal part of building and maintaining a library collection. This has not been done before within Kemp Library, so we are long overdue for it.
  • Why aren’t you doing it?
    • We are not doing this because we are out of space. We are not doing this because books are outdated and the Internet has rendered print media obsolete.
  • Who is doing this deselection?
    • Actual deselection of materials will be handled by the Kemp Library Faculty. Department faculty will be consulted in an advisory role as necessary and appropriate. Voluntary input from faculty members is also welcomed.
  • But what about insert favorite title here? You have to keep that!
    • After the library faculty have deselected an item, it will go on a list to be posted publicly (the details of where haven’t been decided yet, but everyone will be notified as to where it will be). Faculty and students are encouraged to review the lists and if there are items listed that you feel shouldn’t be, please tell us why.
  • What happens to the items once they’ve been removed from the library?
    • As our books are property of the state of Pennsylvania, they fall under the purview of the Procurement department. Specific details will be announced as we receive them.
  • Why are you telling us about this?
    • There are three main reasons for this: 1) We feel that being open, honest, and transparent about this process is the best way to foster goodwill between the library and the rest of the university. 2) This helps avoid the shock of a patron looking for one of their favorite items only to find that it has been deselected. 3) We need your help. You are the experts in your disciplines and we value your knowledge of those areas so we will be asking for your input as we proceed.
  • When will the project end?
    • In theory, the work of collection weeding is not ever supposed to end, but it is meant to be an ongoing process in order to keep the collection healthy. Once this project has run its course, the collection will continue to be maintained and weeded as necessary. The project itself is not currently on a strict timetable, and the work should progress until every major collection has been evaluated. Any changes will be announced.

If you have any comments or questions related to the Collection Weeding and Consolidation project, please direct them to our Collection Development and Outreach Librarian: Mark Gatesman mgatesman@esu.edu (570) 422-3154

Thank you, and we look forward to your continued support and assistance with this project. Stay tuned for further updates!