Weeding the reference collection

I have been reviewing lists of materials in our collection. In the next couple of weeks the Education collections and team are moving to a new library which has considerably less shelf space, so low-use items in our print collections will be relocated to an off-site store. Space is a valuable commodity at our campus.

One of the areas that has been getting a lot of attention is the reference collection. It has almost reached the end of its life-cycle, materials that were once in high demand are no longer used at all. The small collection of core resources that will come with us to the new library, will be stored in a compactus.

We have been slow to get started on the print deselection process in comparison to many other academics libraries and yet our eReference collections are strong. These pictures provide the answer, our management of the reference collection has been driven by the physical space.


This is the reference area in our existing library, the space was refurbished in 2008 and the architects nostalgically embraced the concept of the classic reading room. It is a successful space, during semester it is one of the most popular quiet work areas of the library. The shelves of books around the edges of the room create ambiance.

The Library currently houses the Education, Engineering and Science collections, however, once the education collection are relocated I suspect the shelves will be relatively bare. I wonder if the room will be redesigned and if it will remain a low technology zone.

Whilst I was checking the relocation list, I may have been slightly distracted by titles such as:

Ehrlich, E. (2002). The highly selective dictionary of golden adjectives for the extraordinarily literate. New York: HarperResource.

Holder, R. W., & Holder, R. W. (2002). How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Laugesen, A. (2005). Diggerspeak: The language of Australians at war. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Quinion, M. (2002). Ologies and isms: A dictionary of word beginnings and endings. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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2 Responses to Weeding the reference collection

  1. bookgrrl says:

    I love weeding- you would find some wonderful gems in the collection :). I hope the space remains a low technology zone; those chairs look so comfy…

  2. Kat Frame says:

    There is a definite need for quiet spaces, so I hope they don’t change it too much. I need to make some time to test out the chairs…

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