Managing Children’s Collections from Acquisition to Weeding

Managing children’s materials in the library can be a challenge. Books look, feel, and age differently than they do in other collections. Multimedia and AV materials come and go quickly and must stand up to both the scrutiny of parents and handling by kids. The process begins long before physical items have arrived at the library and ends after weeding. In this new four-week eCourse, you’ll work through all the phases of the collection management circle of life—from initial selection to weeding—focusing on customer service and good stewardship of financial resources. Instructor and experienced children’s librarian Jill Burket Ragase covers

  • Best practices for evaluating items of varying formats to add to your library’s collection

  • Tips to efficiently acquire and process new materials, so they reach your patrons as quickly as possible

  • Strategies to maximize the circulation of materials and track circulation in combination with displays, programs, and other collection marketing efforts

  • Implementing the MUSTY method in combination with circulation statistics to improve the deselection process and weed your collection with confidence

After participating in this course, you will

  • Be able to efficiently and effectively evaluate and select reviewed materials across formats to meet the needs of the children in your community

  • Understand how to place customer service at the center of acquisition and processing

  • Maximize the use of your collection use through circulation, programs, and displays

  • Deselect materials with confidence using a combination of item condition and use statistic

Course Overview:

Week 1: Selection and acquisition 

Our overview of selection and acquisition will focus on best practices for evaluation of items to be added to the collection. Resources for a variety of formats will be shared and discussed as well as the varying selection criteria for different formats.

Week 2: Acquisition and Processing 

We will briefly touch on tips and tricks to move items efficiently through this phase and focus on placing items in the hands of our patrons as quickly as possible. We will cover juvenile collection quagmires such a labeling and cataloging/shelving options for series and formats.

Week 3: Circulation 

As we move to the circulation phase, we will discuss using your OPAC’s report functions and/or Excel to track circulation in combination with displays, programs, and other collection marketing efforts to maximize this phase of the item’s life.

Week 4: Weeding

Finally, we will arrive at deselection with a deep dive into weeding using the MUSTY method in combination with circulation statistics. In this segment, we will also cover right sizing your collection and disposal options for materials as well as how to get your staff on board with the deselection process.