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S.E.W. What?Selecting, Evaluating & Weeding the School Library:A Lively Discussion PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL LIBRARY ASSOCIATION CONFERENCEState College, PA May 1, 2009 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Mona Kerby Coordinator of the School Library Media Program McDaniel College Westminster, Maryland email@example.com http://www.monakerby.com
Resources • Collection Development for the School Library Media Program: A Beginner’s Guide. Chicago: AASL, 2006. ISBN: 0-8389-8375. • www.monakerby.com -- I’ve made links to articles I’ve written, this Powerpoint, an evolution of previous Ppts on this topic, and a blog called School Library Questions.
Our Purpose • To learn from all of us—see how the majority of you believe and to see if we can learn from the few who have a different perspective; • You are busy—in the next 1 hour and 15 minutes, can you provide me insight on how I can truly help you; • We’re seeking some “Aha” moments. Let me goad you a bit, put you on the defensive as a way to think.
Essential Question What’s your proof that you have an outstanding collection?
S.E.W. Session Objectives • Share your responses on survey—size of collection & what sources you’re using; • Provide selection sources & weeding guidelines; • Suggest ways for me to help answer our essential question or modify it: How to do you prove that you have an outstanding collection? Or, what does it look like? Volunteer note-takers?
Who are you? Out of 48 responses— • 14 are elementary librarians • 16 are middle school librarians • 18 are high school librarians
OLD CHART, Outdated?Suggested Percentage of Book Collection per Dewey Classification
How many databases do you have? Is this essential? Available from other source? Thoughts? Should I ask how many databases you need?
Would you need the same number of books if you had access to online subscription databases?— What does this tell us? Is there a better way to ask this? What do I need to consider?
A Visionary? “If you were to look at my collection, you may call it unbalanced. I am a believer that some sections/topics are better accessed via online information, and I direct patrons to those routes versus the print collection.” --A Pennsylvania School Librarian April 2009
Do you find that you are spending less time reading the print version of selection journals, and instead, you are now relying more on reading the online reviews?
A minor opinion? “Reading reviews is done at home. Taking a shot in the dark with Titlewave is time consuming and can't be done except at computer. I like my fuzzy slippers and snuggled on my couch to read reviews.”
What you said about selection • 92 % don’t formally evaluate new purchases • 71 % say don’t have enough time for selection and evaluation (elem 1 yes/14 no; middle 6 yes/10 no ; high 7 yes/11 no) • Importance of collection responsibility—28 say most important; 19 say important; 1 says less important
Another Visionary? “In the "old" days, it was easier to “know” the collection—before significant technology and our ever-changing roles. I believe collection development is a primary responsibility for library media/specialists. If not, districts could send curriculum information to an outsourcing source for selection and acquisitions.”
Comments, continued • 88 % would be interested in some type of recommended list. • ”I religiously build lists based on reviews and try to keep abreast of the trends in students' reading and support them.” • “Selection of fiction books relies heavily on cover.” • ”Collection development is not viewed as a priority by administration who wants to know why librarians have so much free time.” • I can't give statistics by Dewey because we use the A R program and identify books by AR level.
Comments • List you are describing sounds similar to the ALA Best of the Best books. • Don't need a top 100 books of year as Booklist does that as does AASL and we have two workshops at each PSLA conference Books of Note and Best of the Best that provide attendees with best book of previous year. • I also rely on the PSLA Conference book sessions for good reviews. I attend the Best of the Best books for K-8 and spend time at the book preview exhibit. • PA librarians have free access to Power Library and to School Library Journal, Booklist, etc.,
NEXTProfessional Selection SourcesEvaluating CollectionWeeding Guidelines But now, take a quick stretch break.
Booklist • Journal subscription rate $79.95 /22 issues • Approximately 125 reviews for K-12 readers per issue • Reviews recommended books and all multimedia • Professional reviewers are on staff
School Library Journal • Journal subscription rate $124.00 /12 issues • Approximately 300 reviews for preK-12 readers per issue • Reviews books, web sites, multimedia • Reviews can be positive or negative • Volunteer reviewers from around the country
Horn Book Guide • Subscription rate $50.00 /2 guides yearly • Approximately 2,000 titles in each • Reviews books (no multimedia) of current appropriate materials for preK-12 • Rating system of 1 (outstanding) to 6 (unacceptable) • Professional reviewers and expert editors
Evaluation • By improving average age • By improving the matches to a professional retrospective selection source • By increasing curriculum matches • By increasing circulation statistics • By analyzing student interest
Curriculum Chart Created by Judy Ward for Dorchester County School District
Weeding—Briefly I give suggestions for: • Picture Books • Fiction • Dewey divisions—some sections can be older than others
A Virginian visionary? • “I think there needs to be a reassessment of the balance between fiction and nonfiction. Most nonfiction books are expensive and have a limited shelf value. Most students gravitate toward web resources. I’d like to keep a core collection of nonfiction books, a good list of web resources and databases for research, and a larger collection of fiction books to support independent reading -- promoting literacy at its roots.” --A Virginia school librarian, Fall 2008
Closing Thoughts—My Plan • Check circulation records of positively reviewed books and notable lists • Devise a quick evaluation of recent book orders • Consider refining survey, asking only about % of books by Dewey collection, and post on LM_Net
Your Plan • Establish a state S.E.W. day? • Discuss at district and state level the # of online sources vs # of book sources • Ask Follett, Mackin, Baker & Taylor to add these review sources—and perhaps you can make a commitment to only selecting books with 2-3 positive reviews: • Booklist • School Library Journal • Horn Book Guide • Wilson’s Catalogs • Notable Lists or New York Times Best Sellers?
In Closing Continue pondering our essential question: What’s your proof that you have an outstanding collection? Please email me any suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.