November 02, 2006


We have moved forward with our weeding/deselection project. This project is being done working with the departments. We are using WorldCat Collection Analysis to identify titles held in the areas we are weeding. While I think this is a good tool for collection analysis (with lots of patience as it's still not intuitive), I'm not sure if it's good for weeding. I'm not sure it's bad, either.

You can only search by broad subject area, i.e. Sociology. From the matches you can drill down even further. It is easier than building a query in Millenium (III); the problem is there are subjects that may actually fall under a different program area, which means that each "sub" subject area must be exported separately. For example, I limited my query to Sociology and the 1960's (1960-1969). Not all areas were appropriate for my project. I wound up with 10 different spreadsheets since you can only either export at the top level or at each individual level. And, speaking of export, you can only export from WorldCat itself after viewing the list and it only does it in batches of 500. I find this a bit inconvenient. You also can't identify which fields you want to export.

My only other option at this point is to identify the call number areas and build the query in Millenium and then export from Millenium. However, query building in Millenium can be tedious itself and it does have some quirks. Plus, I believe the output in Excel from WorldCat Coll Analysis is cleaner. And, limiting by publication date is easier in WorldCat Coll Analysis.

I had a chance to chat with Bowker about their upcoming product while at the Charleston Conference. I think it will be better at identifying missing recommended titles, but I'm not sure it would be anymore useful for weeding.

Bottom line, this is my first major weeding project. I've had to review the titles pulled from our first round because they overlapped with other departments or we felt they should remain in the collection. I'm limiting areas to consider more, but winding up with a LOT of spreadsheets in the process. WorldCat Coll Analysis makes running the report easier, but it doesn't take all of the work out of the whole project. However, there probably isn't any tool that would do that. After about a month of this, I've decided that WorldCat Coll Analysis provides a good starting point for the weeding projects.

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