According to Rebecca Vnuk, reference and collection management editor with ALA Booklist, weeding is a big part of library collection development. Purging outdated materials makes room on the shelves for timely, up-to-date material.
(This volunteer shelver doesn’t take space for granted, having worked with a collection that had outgrown its library.)
Vnuk cites the acronym MUSTIE among criteria for weeding materials. MUSTIE comes from the C.R.E.W. weeding manual available from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. According to MUSTIE criteria, is the book:
- Misleading (factually inaccurate)?
- Ugly (beyond mending or rebinding)?
- Superceded (by new edition or better book)?
- Trivial (of no discernible literary or scientific merit)?
- Irrelevant (to needs and interests of library community?)
- Elsewhere (can the book be easily obtained from another library)?
A key emphasis of the presentation was on CollectionHQ, which offers “Evidence Based Stock Management” of library collections. Brendan Pearce, business development manager for CollectionHQ, presented an overview.
Miriam Tuliao, assistant director, branch development collection, with the New York Public Library; and Mary Cohen, technical services department head with the Palos Verdes Library District; then shared their experiences implementing CollectionHQ: creating action plans to identify items for transfer and removal.
My transcript of the ALA Booklist webinar was curated with Storify.