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07-17: Non-Print Media

Non-Print Media

CREW guidelines are not especially strict or specific when it comes to non-print media. I have copied sections of the 2012 edition of CREW guidelines which might be of assistance below. It is interesting to note that in this edition of CREW there was already a note in the Phonograph Record section mentioning the revival of vinyl.

DVDs/Blu-Rays: Discard entertainment and feature film DVDs that have not circulated at least once during the past year. There is either something wrong with the unit, or patrons have lost interest in the title. Nonfiction DVDs may circulate less frequently.

CDs: Music CDs may be judged by their popularity with library users. Discard them once use decreases. Consider weeding audiobooks that have not circulated within the past two years, especially nonfiction titles that are outdated and would be weeded from the print collection due to copyright date (of the original book) or erroneous information. CDs are also susceptible to temperature extremes, excessive humidity, and high intensity UV light. Discs should be regularly checked for signs of damage and discarded.

Video Games: The major weeding decision factor frequently will have to do with platforms. Once the platform is no longer supported by the hardware companies, interest usually rapidly declines. Of course, when the games are no longer available for purchase, the library's collection may see an increase in use by those who are holding on to the older technology. Look for damaged items or those missing parts and discard them.

Vinyl: Easily warped and scratched, records should be discarded if damaged. Except for rare examples of local performers, discard any records that have not circulated within the past two years.

What do all of these have in common? Inspect for damage and lack of interest. Lack of interest usually translates to lack of circulation and we all know how to find those, but damage is a bit harder. We all know circulation can get busy and we do not ALWAYS check for condition when things come in and go out, plus there are items checked in at other libraries and their standards or practices may be different.

Here are two ways you can create a list of items which should be inspected for damage:

  1. Use Simply Reports to create an item list. Limit to your Media Collection (or Material Type if you just want to do one type of media at a time) and limit it to items with over 75 circs. I would suggest including barcode, call number, title, lifetime circ, and last circ status change date.
  2. Use collectionHQ to run a Grubby Report. Select the Non-Book module and run the Grubby Item Removal report. This report starts at 75 lifetime circulations. If you don't want to look at anything with less than 100 circulations, apply a filter at the top of the circulation column (type >100 into the blank filter box).

Some items that have circulated 75 times will be in decent shape, but this is where I found the tipping point for my DVD and CD collections. By 100 circs, most of the discs were in need of repair and covers were in bad shape in our Children's Dept, but for Adult Media the number of circs at which this began to occur was more like 150 to 200. Between 75 and 100 circs, condition varied on both discs and cases. Audiobooks tended to have a longer life as far as condition goes, but as they do not circulate as heavily, they are more easily weeded by circulation.

I do not have a video game collection to weed, but as the CREW guidelines suggest, check your collection for games on outdated systems as well as damage to the actual games.

Suggestions for Weeding

  • Since this tip is focusing mostly on condition, I do not have suggestions for what you can weed. A suggestion for a quick inspection, however, is to go to your shelf and scan the call numbers. If you cannot read the call number easily anymore, the item probably needs to be checked for condition as it has been handled a great deal. 

Suggestions for Purchase

  • Again, no specific recommendations, but one thing to keep in mind is that these were high circulating items, so many are worth replacing if they are still in print or if there are newer releases of the movies, albums, or audiobooks. For video games, if a game was popular on a very old system, check to see if there is a newer version of the game for a current system.
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