Date: Sat, 19 Nov 2005 03:37:40 GMT
From: Lee Gordon
Subject: Re: TAR: Letting teachers help you weed- an inservice idea

I did something similar several years ago. I invited the science department to the library after school one day with a promise of cookies and milk. I gave each a card with a dewey # that corresponded to the classes they taught, ie. chemistry teachers got 540, etc. I put some empty book carts down in the science area and asked them to go find the garbage. They munched and weeded, with horrified comments about the age and inaccuracy of the materials they were pulling off the shelves. They told me where I needed to beef things up after they weeded and could see what we had left. Since science isn’t my strongest area, this worked for me. I also had a couple of math teachers take a look at the math section. They weeded out eight of our nine books on slide rules!!

The social studies teachers tried, too, but they have a hard time letting go of history. I had to get them to look for cultural bias and inaccuracies, but they had a tough time. I eventually did the weeding here.

The English teachers also had a hard time, especially in fiction (me, too). I did the initial weed based on circulation stats and how dated the books were. I put them on several carts and asked the English teachers to come in and tell me what to keep. Out of four carts of books, they asked me to keep only about six. They admitted
that they would never read what I had culled, not would they ever ask a student to read them, either.

I found that this was one way to get the teachers to understand the weeding process. They also finally took a look at what really was on the shelves and made some pleasant discoveries.