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Please send the "Policy for weed out older books which are not much preferred by the students"
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here read 6.4 heading
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6.4 WEEDING OUT POLICY 6.4.1 Meaning and Purpose We have noted earlier that weeding out policy is an important component of collection development policy. Weeding out documents means removing documents which are found not useful or not serviceable from a library. 16 Documents so removed from the library may be completely discarded where they are not serviceable; are donated to some other library where they may be useful; or kept in a reserve place called a dormitory library. Weeding out policy means a policy statement on a) what materials are to be weeded out? B) when to weed out? c) who should weed out? d) how to weed out? e) what to do with weeded out materials. With the explosion of knowledge documents are now being published in millions. New areas of knowledge are coming up and some of the earlier ideas and thoughts are becoming outdated. For a modern library it is a question of money and space to get all new documents which are relevant and useful. Particularly space for keeping the documents has become a major problem for university libraries. Solutions were attempted earlier and even now attempts are being made to find suitable solutions. Saving space is not the only reason for thinking about weeding out of documents. Some of the documents may get worn out because of continuous usage. Similarly some of the documents may become brittle and unusable with passage of time. But the most important reason of all is that some documents may become useless since the thought content therein has been modified in a subsequent edition; or because the information in the document has become obsolete. In modern times documents may be weeded out after transferring the information contained in them to microforms and computer tapes and disks. Report of the Library Committee of the University Grants Commission speaking on the need for weeding out says: “Many works lose their value within one generation, say in twenty-five years. By that time, their thought-content of same may even turn out to be wrong. In a service library no useful purpose is served by retaining such pedestrian books and providing shelf space for them after they 17 have become obsolete. The proper course is to weed out periodically. They should give place to current variations of them.” 6.4.2 Discouraging Factors Inspite of the compelling reasons for periodic weeding out documents from a library many librarians hesitate to put it in practice. It is quite evident in our country. The following are some of the reasons for such apathy: 1) Love for Numbers The glory for numbers in libraries is still there. Though modern librarians realize that it is quality of service that is more important than the quantity of documents in a library even then they hesitate to weed out documents which are no longer useful. This is mainly because official reports to be submitted by them emphasize on numbers. 2) Sanctity of Collection Many feel that every book, however old it may be, has its value. Sometimes they think that antiquity enhances the value of the book even though its exact reprint in a better physical condition is available in the market. But in a service library documents lose their value and significance if they get mixed up with large number of outdated and useless documents. 3) Pressure of Work Library being a dynamic organisation, work pressure will always be on the library professionals. Since weeding out implies careful, judicious and justifiable action, which needs time, librarians hesitate to weed out. Hindrance to or dislocation of the routine duties, due to time consumed by weeding out work, may not be appreciated by the clientele. 4) Fear of Audit and Clientele Comments 18 At the time of audit one may face objection that documents for which amounts were paid are not found in the library. Similarly, the clientele may also comment upon the documents weeded out of the library saying that some very useful documents were also discarded. But a librarian need not get discouraged by these factors. A clear and well planned weeding out policy free from bias and approved by a committee appointed either for this purpose or the one looking after the library affairs will clear all hurdles. Katz says that the weeding is one of the best suitable techniques available to ensure long-range usefulness of any collection.
6.4.3 What Materials Are To Be Weeded out ? J.S. Sharma (1978) listed the type of materials to be weeded out from a library as a matter of policy. In 1994 H.R. Chopra restated the same list. The following are some of the types of materials that are to be weeded out periodically. 19 • Books that are mutilated by users because of constant use should be withdrawn. • Best sellers, fiction non-fiction used by hundreds of readers become worn out after sometime. Such documents should be weeded out. • Text books and language books printed on inferior quality paper deteriorate soon. They can be weeded out once they are worn out. • In the field of science and technology the developments are so fast that the books published twenty or thirty years ago become outdated. Such books have to be weeded out and replaced by latest edition or by new books on the subject. • Reference books such as Yearbooks, Annuals, Handbooks, etc. that are published periodically have to be replaced with their new editions and the older editions are to be discarded. • With the advent of microforms, CD-ROMs, and other space saving technology useful information can be stored in them. So, some of the books and journals after the frequency of their use get reduced or even in the beginning itself should be replaced by such new form of documents. • Finally, a library should always keep in mind Ranganathan’s Fifth Law “Library is a growing organism”. With the increase in the number of documents space becomes a problem. So it is essential to weed out all unserviceable materials to find place for new and urgently needed books and other documents. When to Weed out? At any time throughout the year the librarian may come across documents which may have to be stopped from circulation as they are found to be worn out and 20 unusable. Chopra says “in college and university libraries, if time permits each time a book is handled in the library it should be examined from the angle of its physical condition and to its continued suitability. At least once a year the entire collection should be examined”. Annual weeding out of unwanted documents is ideal. Who Should Weed out? Weeding out is an exercise which requires necessary judgment and expertise. The librarian has to be personally involved in it. Sometimes members of Library Committee or the nominee(s) of the library authority or members of a committee appointed for the purpose may take decisions and implement weeding out of materials from the library. The advice of subject experts or senior faculty members, whose judgment can be trusted, should be taken for this purpose. How to Weed out or Guidelines For Weeding out Weeding out should not be arbitrary. Because once we take out a document from the library we should think of: • its replacement with a new copy or a new edition or a new book on the subject; and • what should be done if the same document is needed at a later date? Several theories and guidelines on weeding out have come out in the West. Fussler and Simon felt that past use is the best guide for future use of documents. Trueswell developed a technique for weeding out a collection which would ensure a given degree of satisfaction in the future by examining the past use. There are studies by Marianne Cooper and by Raffel and Shishko. Raffel and Shishko suggested publication date should be the important criterion for weeding out documents. 21 The Council of American Library Association holds the view that in public libraries “annual withdrawals from the collections should average at least 5 percent of the total collection” saying that “unnecessary items remaining in a collection can weaken a library as surely as insufficient acquisitions”. Sinha Committee Report (Library Advisory Committee Report) (1958) holds a similar view in the case of Indian public libraries. The Report observed “Weeding out of worn out and out of date books is as important in a public library as acquisition of new books….It is said a conscientious librarian should discard 5 percent of his fiction and 2 percent of his non-fiction every year…” Ranganathan observes that “many of the modern books get out moded in ideas expounded in them within 20 years. After that period such books should not be preserved in library but should be weeded out and written off. What to do with Weeded out Materials Our next problem is, what is to be done with materials that are weeded out on sound principles? Of course, books and other materials completely worn out, mutilated and irreparable can be sold just like old news papers and ephemeral materials. But if the books are in good condition particularly if they are older editions of reference sources like encyclopedias, handbooks, etc. they may have to be donated to other libraries which are not in a position to buy such costly books. Yet another way is to store the weeded out documents which are otherwise useful, in what is known as “Book Reservoirs”. At least one copy of the weeded out documents should be preserved at a place within a region of the country. According to UGC Committee on University and College libraries (1965) headed by Ranganathan “While weeding out, it is necessary in service libraries – and generally modern university libraries are service libraries – that it should not be 22 done by the libraries of the country in an uncoordinated way for, it is necessary to preserve a few copies of every book somewhere in the country for the use of posterity – and particularly for antiquarian and bibliographic research”. When documents are weeded out it should be done with a specific knowledge and sanctions of the concerned Library Committee or the library authority. The Accession Register should carry the entry that the document is written off; quoting the relevant orders or proceedings of the concerned authority. Shelf list, catalogue and other records should be rectified by deleting the entries relating to the weeded out documents.
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