Thursday, May 10, 2018

Curating, Not Weeding

Haskins, Ashley
Held, Tim. (n.d.). Curating, Not Weeding. Technical Services Quarterly., 35(2), 133-143.
This article draws attention to the fact that many librarians and users are uncomfortable removing any books or cultural artifacts from a collection, (potentially because librarians confuse books with the content they contain) but asks librarians to confront the finite nature of library space. This issue is compounded by the expanding nature of information and the increased services demanded by patrons.
The authors state that users were not impressed by predominantly older results in catalog searches and the dated appearance of the stacks, and recommend building a digital collection of books and OERs to supply knowledge without using library space. However, the same issues of overwhelming users with outdated information and diluting the search for quality resources can exist in online resources as well. The authors do not acknowledge the need to also weed digital collections and OERs, seeming to forget their own advice “For rightsizing, librarians must have a plan, including goals, resources, and ongoing maintenance.” (p. 136)
This article is a good reminder that increased collection numbers don’t correlate to increased use, and can actually overwhelm and discourage patron use. The article concludes that “right sizing” a collection increases usability and provides a thoughtful consideration of weeding policies.

Weeding, OERs, right sizing

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