In the summer of 2015, the library began one of our first of three major weeding or removal projects, which was the microform collection. In the midst of that, we were getting ready for our next big weeding project, the bound journals. Bound journals are issues of a periodical or magazine that are held together and covered with a particular type of material. Journals are easier to store when the issues are bound but they take up a lot of room. Now that many journals are stored electronically in databases, we decided that there were better things that we could use the bound journal space for.
We actually started the bound journal weeding in 2014 by ceasing the binding of all journals. Then in July 2016, we manually took inventory of what bound journal titles we have and their holdings. We compared our “A-Z Journal List” to what was actually on the shelves. We also compared the DOCLINE database (the National Library of Medicine’s automated interlibrary loan system) holdings because all the bound journals would have to be removed from it.
We had a total of 4,593 bound volumes consisting of 389 titles. We checked to see if we had the same holdings in our online databases. If we had any gaps, or were missing any journal titles on-line, we made note of those findings. Of those 389 titles, 104 had no holdings in the online databases. In September we shared those findings with the faculty and asked if we did not have a replacement(s) online, did they want us to purchase it? Three titles were requested; however, we found out that we had sufficient coverage in our online databases; therefore, we did not need to purchase any new electronic titles.
In October we reached out to the Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) listserv and asked if any libraries would like the discarded bound journals. Six libraries made requests totaling 618 volumes. The largest request came from the Nebraska State Historical Society, requesting about 350 volumes. In January we began removing and recycling the rest of the journals. Some library staff members also picked out journals that they wanted to add to their personal collections which totaled 254 volumes.
As the journals were removed, they also had to be eliminated from several places
in the library. The first was our eCatalog, a local holding where journals are recorded. Secondly, there is the “A-Z Journal List,” the location that we have our subscription to journals. Third, is OCLC, (Online Computer Library Center, Inc.). OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog in the world. Next, they had to be removed from DOCLINE. Lastly, they had to be removed from our accession books; records that contain all the titles of books and journals received by a library and all the necessary details.
All of this work was completed within a year with the help of several staff members. Now that we have successfully completed two major weeding projects in the library, we have already moved onto a third one. It is the Reference collection’s turn! Stay tuned as we transform the library and renovate the space where the bound journal collection was and get ready to transform yet another area.
Originally posted in the Freeman/Lozier Library’s quarterly newsletter, More Than Books, V. 21 No. 1, Winter 2017.