Ok; should we weed before creating our library and entering in the computer system?  Or enter everything thereby capturing it all and then weed?  I have 2 folks on opposite sides of this trying to start one library!  Do we have a document with this info?  Didn't see it on the EQUIP??

Thanks everyone and keep reading!  May God bless you and keep you in His hands

Jenn Burwell

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The following is a quote from page 86 of the resource The Church Library Ministry Information Service" -- which contains guidelines for the operation of a church library. This resource has recently been updated and is available as a PDF download ($19.99) from LifeWay.com (click on sidebar).

"Weed! Weed! Weed! Thoroughly weed all media according to instructions in the Collection Development section of this resource. Weeding is not a task for every team member. This process is necessary in order that valuable time not be wasted in placing media in the computer only to discover that it should be deleted." 

Also, go back to the EQUIP tab and find the process for CLM Classification & Subject Cataloging: Preparing for Automation in the Church Library There are some articles listed there (click on each to go to that article -- you have permission to print them!) which will help with your questions.   


Encourage your library friends to use the EQUIP process as they are starting their church library.































Weed, Weed, Weed some more is my only statement.  I don't have any "document" to verify this, just 30 years of church library experience! Why go through all of the work to enter materials that you'll only have to remove??????

Oh, definitely weed!  We did exactly what you are planning to do: we entered data from a library that needed resurrection, but first we weeded.  We were brutal, out of necessity.  Weeded to 500 items.  Then catalogued.  Like others said, weed, weed, weed! 

DEFINITELY weed! If you have folks who want to keep EVERYTHING, have the weeding party without them and instead assign them other tasks to stay busy! You will be "investing" at least 5 minutes per book minimum, and for some books, you may spend significantly more time, depending on whether you have an automated downloading data system or you have to check for each title individually. Even with a "bulk" downloading system, you will still want to check and perhaps modify the record. This is also the time to get a good scan gun that will work with your system - it will save a lot of time and potential keying-in errors when entering ISBNs.


I would also recommend doing your nonfiction section first, as this is the area most people need a subject index for. Fiction readers usually select by favorite author or spine/cover appeal, rather than a topic, so just having them in author order on the shelves is good enough until you are ready to start using the circulation component, then  you will want everything cataloged and barcoded. Fiction should go much faster in cataloging too - not as many subjects.


The best part about weeding becomes evident when you have cleared out the old ratty stuff - your shelves will look great! Don't be surprised if people think you've added new books! And you will be able to access the automated catalog for look-ups for nonfiction, which will really help people help themselves.

Seems to me that since you have not yet started your "official" library, the very first thing to do is set up your Church Library Mission Statement and your Selection Policy, which supports the mission statement. There is no point in processing books that you will soon have to remove. If you already know what your library should and should not have, you will know when you pick up each book for processing what to do with it... catalog or discard.



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