Thursday, August 2, 2012

Gardening, LISSA style...

It might be summer, but LISSA hasn't wasted any time getting a jump on the year.  We've gained 11 new members following this summer's orientation, and after a fun social event in early June, we decided we needed to put this great group of librarians to work!  After some discussion with one of LISSA's recent grads and new librarians, we came up with a great plan:  weeding the fiction and non-fiction collections at the Orangeburg County Library in Orangeburg, SC. 

On Saturday, July 28th a group of 13 LISSA members descended on the OCL from all over the state; three members from Charleston SC (including one alumni), a member from Savannah GA, one from Florence SC, and eight more from Columbia (including two more alumni!).  We got a tour of the library from LISSA alum and OCL Adult Services Librarian Anna Z., and an overview of what we would be working on that day.

The workload was a big one:  weeding fiction and shifting part of the collection off the back wall; shifting the audio book collection; weeding non-fiction and separating out the biography collection that had previously been interfiled; shifting non-fiction to make room for the newly-separated biographies.  Oy.  But wait....we're LISSA!  We're almost-librarians, able to leap overcrowded stacks in a single bound!  We weed faster than a speeding bullet!  We can maneuver overloaded book carts like Dale Jr.!  We....need to get to work, because there is a LOT to do.

Fiction, BEFORE
 Here's a view of one of the fiction stacks...that is a WALL of books.  One of our goals was to move all the  books off the top shelves to improve accessibility for the library users, and to hopefully increase circulation within the collection.  Additionally, the library wanted the option to display newer titles faced-out within the stacks, after they had been given a turn up front in the new releases section.  Weeding the collection was going to help accomplish both these tasks.

Kelsey, LISSA VP, weeding the fiction collection
New LISSA member Sarah Z. and alum Beth W. shifting fiction



 










LISSA was tasked with weeding the non-fiction collection as well, pulling out the interfiled biographies so they could be shelved together in a separate, more easily browsed section.  This task required using our evaluation  skills, identifying technical material that was outdated and in need of replacement as well as materials that were simply worn out or damaged.

Lynn McK. and Robert B., LISSA Web Master, attacking the non-fiction collection

 115 volunteer hours later.....this is what happens.

Adult Services Librarian (and LISSA alum) Anna Z. with the piles of weeded materials...you can see them on the floor, on the counter, on the table by the back door, but what you can't see is the pile around the corner.  Oy.  The Friends of the Library sale next month is going to be HUGE!




The finished product in non-fiction.  So organized! 
All in all, this was a great experience for the LISSA members who participated.  Seeing the entire scope of the project, from start to finish, and all the details that need to be coordinated to make it happen is valuable, real-life experience, something LISSA works very hard to provide to our members.  In addition, the Orangeburg County Library users have a refreshed, more accessible collection than before, something we truly hope they find helpful. 

If you're not already a member of this great group of librarians, what are you waiting for?  Together, we can move mountains...this proves it. 

With warmest regards,

Ann E. Merryman
LISSA President, 2012-2013

3 comments:

  1. Our library looks sooooo much better thanks to your hard work and dedication. We are very appreciative of your efforts. Our collection looks brand new.

    Thank you!
    Roberta Bibbins
    Library Director
    Orangeburg County Library

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  2. Wooo, looks like a lot of effort well expended! Now am ignorant because I haven't heard the term weeding used in this context before...? It was basically determining what ought to go by looking at the stacks and pulling out what looked old, damaged, or less useful, right?
    Halfway through the program and I still feel like the most clueless SLISter ever...

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    Replies
    1. Lydia,

      Yep, weeding is the term used by librarians when pulling duplicate, damaged, or outdated materials from the collection. In my J702 class this summer, I had a classmate describe weeding in the same terms as for a garden; you must remove the crowding vegetation to allow room for the plants you want to flourish. I thought it was a great analogy! And yes, it was a lot of effort, but the results were so worth it...we got a lot of great hands-on experience in a real library setting, something that is very valuable, and the library users got a completely refreshed collection to use!

      Ann

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