[Genealib] criteria for keeping materials

Kathy Rippel kdr at ckls.org
Tue Jul 8 18:14:44 EDT 2008

I'm glad Marnie mentioned items "that cannot be replaced."

I am both an Interlibrary Loan Librarian (one hat of many) and a 
genealogist. From those perspectives, I have a few "thoughts" to toss out.
    * If you have a statewide catalog or, better yet, access to the 
OCLC database (WorldCat), check how many libraries own the item 
BEFORE you get rid of it. Your library may actually be the only 
library that owns that item, or one of the few. If you have the 
ability to list your holdings on one of those sources (or at the 
least, your own catalog, especially if it's online), please add your 
holding to the record (if it isn't already).
    * OK, you may say, "But I wouldn't check out that item on ILL 
anyway!" However, genealogists have been known to plan vacation 
travel specifically to see non-circulating items in a particular 
library! (Been there, done that) I see this as a tourism attraction 
for your community, no matter how small. At the least, they might 
request copies and you can charge for them!
    * If you still decide it doesn't need to be retained in your 
Genealogy Collection, consider moving it to the circulating 
collection so that genealogists can actually check it out or ILL it 
(and they will bless you).
    * If you still don't have the room, etc., consider giving it to 
another, possibly larger, library that does not have it. If the item 
is also reasonably rare, you might see if the major research 
libraries in your area have it. In our area, that would be the Kansas 
State Historical Society or the Midwest Genealogy Center (formerly 
Mid-Continent Public Library, Genealogy Branch). The MGC also has a 
circulating collection, so they are a good choice. (Oh, yeah, check 
with Janice, or other librarians first! ;-) )
    * Lastly, put it in your booksale, or sell it on eBay, or something.
As you can see, I am a fanatic about having rare (or odd) materials 
available, and interlibrary loaning items when possible.

I am also a consultant for nearly 60 small (some VERY small) 
libraries in north central Kansas. Our System promotes local history 
and genealogy collections in any size library because we can provide 
items unique to the area and it can help provide tourism dollars. We 
facilitate getting our libraries' collections on the Kansas Library 
Catalog and/or OCLC, too. It's amazing how many times we have 
cataloged an item for a library in a rural town with under 1000 
people and the only other OCLC listings are like New York Public and 
Yale University.

Well, food for thought...


At 03:47 PM 7/7/2008, Marnie Oakes wrote:

>Our items have to earn their shelf space.
>We ask our users to leave items on the table or book truck when they 
>are finished with them.
>Before we reshelve the items we check them in from "in house 
>use".  This gives us a good
>idea as to what is being used from our non-circulating 
>collection.  Of course, we don't discard
>everything that hasn't been used after a few years, but we do 
>reevaluate the item's value to our researchers.
>We also use condition as a weeding criteria, but in most cases, we 
>keep something in poor
>condition that cannot be replaced. We box it adequately and limit 
>access if necessary.
>We might put the title on our "wanted" list and search the used 
>market for a copy if the title is out-of-print
>or look for a reprint.
>We also look for duplicate information in different formats.  This 
>is fairly tricky since we want to be
>sure that the information is the same AND that access is 
>equal.  Assorted copies of the 1790 census
>would be an example of this.  We have 3 copies of the MA Heads of 
>Families in 1790. We need to
>look carefully to see if we should keep all 3 especially since we 
>have access to HeritageQuest.
>We have limited space [don't we all?] and are very selective in what 
>we add to our collection.  We delete
>an older edition how-to titles when we get an updated one.
>Hope this helps.
>Marnie Oakes, Director
>Reuben Hoar Library
>41 Shattuck Street
>Littleton, MA 01460
>Phone: 978-486-4046
>Fax: 978-952-2323
>moakes at mvlc.org
>genealib mailing list
>genealib at mailman.acomp.usf.edu

Kathy Rippel
Dept. Head/Consultant--Resource Sharing and Access ;
Pathfinder Central (Manager)
Central Kansas Library System
1409 Williams
Great Bend, KS 67530

(620-792-4865) phone
(800-362-2642) toll-free, KS
(620-792-5495) fax

kdr at ckls.org
I'm currently reading: National Genealogical Society 1998 Conference 
in the States program syllabus.
I'm currently listening to: Iron Rails Across America, by Patricia Walls Stamm.

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