This year I did something you aren't supposed to do your first year in a new library. I weeded. Yup. I did it. A lot. I tried to resist, but I couldn't. I did wait until the second semester, but I just couldn't justify some of the titles anymore. Plus, this isn't my first time at the rodeo. I'm not spending an extra day inventorying books that aren't going to be used. I won't put out numbers, but it was significant. It was really easy though. I ran a list of circulation stats and hit the stacks. Fiction books that were really old, yellowed and smelly are easy. Paperbacks with out of date covers and plot lines could go. Non-fiction that was way out of date in science, biographies, and social studies didn't make the cut. Many titles I will replace, such as classic fiction titles on the Literature Analysis reading list (no wonder they weren't circulating!). I won't throw out numbers because it always freaks out non-librarians. However, when you have all of the weeded books in a pile it becomes quite obvious to all that it would be hard to justify putting the books back on the shelf.
This year I managed to get a district mini grant to get some new science titles and I'm going to apply for an LSTA grant to fix up the social studies section, although I'm having a hard time deciding which area needs it more. I'm probably going with the Western Civ research paper topics since those teachers used the library pretty heavily this year (collaboration gets rewarded!). I'm excited about applying for the grant since it is the first time I've done it. I attended a workshop at the PSLA Conference this year that gave a lot of good advice and inside tips. My biggest concern is that while my budget isn't great (but I do have one and every library is staffed making it hard to complain these days) my district's demographics may be too good to get outside funding. I'm curious to see how this all plays out.
There are a lot more books that need to go, but frankly I ran out of
boxes. And I need to be able to weed a certain percentage of the collection every year to
apply for LSTA grants, so if it is a success I plan on doing it every year.