Wednesday, 16 May 2012

You need a collection retention policy and you need it now.

Here are my notes from the OLA 2012 session #319: "Developing a Collection Evaluation & Retention Policy" (February 2, 2012 from 9:05 AM - 10:20 AM, in the Ontario Room of the ICTC) (handout / info) by Annie Bélanger and Ben Robinson from U of Waterloo.
  • Think of it as a "retention" not "weeding".
  • Almost to the extreme of "One book in, one book out".
  • Need buy-in from all people involved.
  • There are many methods/tools for evaluation.
  • Check out for the toolkit.
  • eResources need to be 'weeded' just as much as print (or rather will be).
  • Need continuous communication with people involved.
  • Use your current collection development policy as the starting point of your retention policy.
  • Evaluation depends on the person evaluating.
  • Listen to faculty to some degree.
  • Hesitation tends to be due to lack of clear priority.
  • Identification of what must be kept is the identification of what must not be kept.
  • This kind of project can help make faculty and VP Research aware of library space issues.
This was an interesting and well done session but I guess I expected more in terms of detail about what evaluation criteria and retention criteria are viable for certain situations.  The most important take-away from this was that weeding (or rather retention-related activities) must be done and done systematically.  I completely agree which is standard practice when dealing with subscription-based electronic resources given the regular costs involved.  But print resources and purchased electronic resources have regular costs too whether they are obvious or not and such costs must be controlled.

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