[Genealib] criteria for keeping materials

Lorie Okel ljokel at comcast.net
Tue Jul 8 18:24:44 EDT 2008

Kathy Rippel,

I want to thank you for your thoughts. There are many times when you have a
person come in to a library use a book, get the info they need, but never
check it out. That doesn't mean it has not been used.


-----Original Message-----
From: genealib-bounces at mailman.acomp.usf.edu
[mailto:genealib-bounces at mailman.acomp.usf.edu] On Behalf Of Kathy Rippel
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2008 3:15 PM
To: Librarians Serving Genealogists
Subject: RE: [Genealib] criteria for keeping materials

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

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