Yesterday I was so upset because my removing 1165 books from the catalog hardly made a dent in bringing up my average age of the collection. So I set my helpers to finding 1000+ books from the Fiction section to be discarded. We began that process today. While they worked, I began to study the reports of discarded materials. The lists I had given my helpers were just spreadsheets with old books sorted by call number. (I made them because TW only gives the aged titles in “age” order. That way they could start at a right shelf and remove titles and check them off as they worked their way across the library. Trust me, locating books by Dewey order is much easier. I began looking at the sheets they had used, and realized SO MANY were not found. I just reasoned that they were lost. The first page of these titles were showing up in a search of the catalog, and they were not classified as lost or missing. In the inventory, books not scanned (due to not being on the shelf) would have been changed automatically to lost or missing. Being new to Destiny, I didn’t know which. So I decided to check the last inventory report. I went into the books and reports section (i don’t recall right off the top what it is called) and discovered that NO reports existed for deleted books. The only deleted books reports that existed were the 1165 I had done during the week. I was having a bad feeling about this. I decided to run the report (over 100+ pages) of the inventory, which would show books accounted for, and books unaccounted for. Okay, hold onto your shorts…there were over 50 pages of books unaccounted for! Now each page listed at least 25 titles, and I did not physically count to see. I was absolutely feeling nauseated! I asked my library assistant, who assured me MANY books were weeded last year too. But there was no record of deleted books (except the ones I had done this week.) So the realization we both had at the same time was that all the books (and neither of us knew how many) had been weeded and discarded last year, but none had been taken out of the system. So the 11,000 materials this library has is actually PROBABLY half that, especially after we finish weeding the books that are currently being de-labeled and identifying stamps marked out. I am probably getting ready to go from offering ten books a student to MAYBE five. My collection according to the SDE rubric will be labeled “Below Standard.” I might get lucky and earn an “Emerging” label. Yes, it makes me feel sick. My assistant wanted to return the fiction books we pulled, but I told her NO! I said if we ran a circulation record for those titles, we’d find that 90% of them did not circulate, and they were OLD, GROSS, and downright SMELLY! I told her I’d beg for funding from the school and district if I had to, and work on writing grants too. But we were not putting those books back on the shelf. So there. My media coordinator is in talks with Destiny Tech Support about possibly doing a global delete of all the unaccounted books. We rationalized that if any showed up that were truly worth keeping, we would re-catalog those books, which is probably the simplest solution. So now I look forward to completing round 2 of the weed, and round 3 of the global delete weed. I anxiously await our damage to both our age and quantity. I hypothesize the age will get dramatically better, and the quantity books per students will go down drastically–to a point that will REALLY look bad. Bummer.
How many books are we losing? Let’s estimate to the best of my mathematical ability:
This week we weeded 1165 books, making the grand total of materials = to 10094
We are weeding about 1000 more (fiction books), so the materials should soon equal 9094.
If there were 25 books a page on the fifty pages of “unaccounted for” books, then we are missing another 1250 that will be deleted as well, leaving an estimated 7844.
7844 divided by our enrollment of 650 = 12 books per student??? Okay, so I’ll be okay in the number of books per student. But this is STILL a very discomforting feeling. And their are other sections that need a weed, like Reference and Biography. : (
Anyone want to join in my pity party? Actually it is comforting to reflect and realize that no matter what, I’m already making a huge impact at my new school in that very dated library.