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Some books are more equal than others: Summer project=Inventory

June 20, 2019

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” wrote George Orwell in Animal Farm.

As I embark on the tall task of taking a complete inventory of our print collection (between 75 – 80 K volumes) with our staff of two over our two month summer without students on campus (our summer courses are online only), I find myself modifying this famous line as I think about the fact that we will be weeding over the next few years (and are pulling some of the really bad stuff now as we go).

Some books are more equal than others.

All of our libraries are facing space issues as we shift from print collections to digital and there is more demand on our campuses for office space, collaborative group space, and technology. What is it that justifies a book maintaining space on our shelves? What makes us add a book to the collection? How many copies of a title is enough? Too many? Why do donors to the library seem to think that we want their personal collections of books? (some of which don’t fit our mission, collection development strategy, or support our curricula).

How do we navigate this slippery slope of questions and concerns?

Just a few things crossing my mind as I wait for the scanner to recharge… Any tips/tricks/advice are welcome.


   Scanning Away the Summer,

   Inventory Collecting Librarian


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