UPDATE: Rounds 2, 3 – and 4

First the bad news:  As of January, 2013, we have withdrawn 21,398 volumes.  This is about a third of the way to our 60,000-volume withdrawal target.  Since the total number of Round 3 withdrawal candidates is only 36,018, this is of significant concern.  But we are making plans to address the issue.  First a few updates:

Round 2

The Round 2 withdrawal lists (books with call numbers beginning with P: Languages and Literatures) are finalized, and books not marked to retain are now being withdrawn.  Once they are processed, the withdrawn books will be made available for faculty to take for their office or department collections.  Any books remaining will be offered in a book sale sometime in May.

Total volumes on the Round 2 withdrawal candidate lists

30,984

     –          Candidates with one or more marks to ‘Keep this copy.’  These will be retained.

12,371

     –          Candidates marked ‘Keep an edition’.  These will be reviewed by a librarian and at least one edition of the work will be retained.

7,147

     –          Candidates with no marks to retain, but that are part of sets or series.  These will be reviewed by a librarian (see this example of such a review) to determine whether they could be withdrawn.

4,550

Round 2 initial withdrawals – single-volume works with no marks to retain.

6,916

Round 3

is underway, and the withdrawal candidate lists will be available for faculty review through March 31.  It covers all subjects not covered in the first two rounds:

H – Social sciences, including economics, sociology, social history, social theory

J – Political science and government

K – Law

L – Education

M – Music

N – Fine arts

Q – Sciences and mathematics

R – Medicine

S – Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

T – Technology, engineering, photography, crafts

U, V – Military and naval science and organization

Z – Libraries and librarianship, information science, bibliographies

The Z class (from Z 1011 on) includes a variety of subject bibliographies that may be of interest to many who are not librarians.

After the March 31 deadline faculty review of Round 3 lists the librarians will review them one last time.  Then all the volumes with marks to ‘Keep this copy’ will be removed from the list, and the withdrawal list finalized.  The books will be pulled over the summer, offered to faculty in the early fall of 2013, and any remaining books sold in the Friends book sale in October.

Round 4

In order to meet the 60,000-volume withdrawal target, we will conduct a Round 4.

Originally, Round 4 was to be a review of withdrawal candidates that had received a single mark to ‘Keep this copy,’ to determine which might be withdrawn.  However, both faculty and librarians have said that this would negate much of the careful review they have done in the first three rounds.  There are many subject areas for which only one Wesleyan faculty member is knowledgeable, and it is essential for the integrity of the collection that their decisions be respected.  So we will retain volumes that have received one or more marks to retain; they will not be included in the Round 4 review.

What will be reviewed for Round 4 withdrawal?  We’re still in the planning stage, but here are a few ideas:

–          Bound periodical volumes for which we have stable online equivalents other than JSTOR.   (We continue to selectively withdraw bound volumes with JSTOR equivalents; this would be an expansion to other stable online journal providers.)

–          Duplicate copies of books of which we have two or more copies.

–          Books on the withdrawal candidate lists that received a mark to ‘Keep an edition,’ but not to ‘Keep this copy.’

We will begin Round 4 in the fall of 2013.

If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please contact me at ptully@wesleyan.edu, or 860-685-3887, or any member of the Weeding Committee.

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