32nd Annual Charleston Conference Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition
Back To Schedule
Thursday, November 8 • 6:00pm - 6:45pm
Should Libraries Add Digitally What They Would Weed Physically?

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

The goal of many libraries, especially smaller ones, is not only to provide materials that meet the needs of their users but also to eliminate those that don’t. Careful selection is designed to make available materials that are useful to the community and that the community wants to use. Weeding removes those materials that are no longer used, are unattractive or damaged, or that contain inaccurate information. As currently taught, weeding is designed to provide a smaller number of excellent materials without the distraction of the dross. Patrons can more easily find the needles once the hay is removed. Part of this philosophy is based upon the physicality of print library materials and the fact that smaller libraries have limited space. Should the same principles then apply to digital resources? While digital resources have great potential to increase the amount of information available, should the library still attempt to assure that these resources are congruent with the mission of the library? Free resources such as Google Scholar and the proposed Digital Public Library of America potentially make available a broad array of texts. Should the smaller library link to these resources and encourage their use? Users in libraries with thousands of items will now have access to millions and will need to acquire the same skills as the users of large research libraries. These skills include sophisticated searching but more importantly the ability to evaluate information quality. While the physical items in the smaller library are vetted for their reliability, the users of these large databases will encounter, for example, medical and science books from decades ago. On the other hand, will those sophisticated enough to find these resources also have the skills to understand how to evaluate them? The audience members will be encouraged to add their views.

avatar for Bob Holley

Bob Holley

Professor Emeritus, School of Library & Information Science, Wayne State University
Professor Emeritus, Wayne State University School of Library & Information Science. Bob Holley has been actively involved in collection development since 1980 as an academic librarian, library science professor, and researcher. He was chief collection development officer at the University... Read More →

Thursday November 8, 2012 6:00pm - 6:45pm EST
Francis Marion Drayton Room 387 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403