Vnuk’s shelf-by-shelf guide to weeding

For Immediate Release
Thu, 06/04/2015


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association


CHICAGO —“No! We can’t rid of that!” Rebecca Vnuk, author of the popular “Weeding Tips” column on Booklist Online, is here to show you that yes, you can. A library is an ever-changing organism; when done the right way, weeding helps a library thrive by focusing its resources on those parts of the collection that are the most useful to its users. “The Weeding Handbook: A Shelf-by-Shelf Guide,” published by ALA Editions, takes the guesswork out of this delicate but necessary process, giving public and school library staff the knowledge and the confidence to effectively weed any collection, of any size. Going through the proverbial stacks shelf by shelf, Vnuk:

  • explains why weeding is important for a healthy library, demonstrating that a vibrant collection leads to robust circulation, which in turn affects library budgets;
  • walks readers through a library’s shelves by Dewey area, with recommended weeding criteria and call-outs in each area for the different considerations of large collections and smaller collections;
  • features a chapter addressing reference, media, magazines and newspapers, e-books and other special materials;
  • shows how a solid collection development plan uses weeding as an ongoing process, making it less stressful and more productive;
  • offers guidance for determining how to delegate responsibility for weeding, plus pointers for getting experienced staff on board;
  • gives advice for educating the community about the process, how to head off PR disasters, and what to do with weeded materials;
  • includes a dozen sample collection development plans, easily adaptable to suit a library’s individual needs.

Vnuk is currently best known as editor, Reference and Collection Management, at Booklist, and as the co-creator of the popular blog Shelf Renewal. In 2008, she was Library Journal’s Fiction Reviewer of the Year, and in 2010 she received the Public Library Association’s Allie Beth Martin Award for excellence in Readers’ Advisory and was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker. She is the author of “Read On . . . Women’s Fiction” and “Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide,” and co-author (with Nanette Donohue) of “Women’s Fiction: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests.” She has spoken at conferences and presented workshops extensively.

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