Library Staff Training Pro-Tip: The Need to Weed
By: Sydney Kalnay, OverDrive Training Specialist
(Ed. Note: This post discusses our training webcasts designed to help your staff become an OverDrive expert.You can sign up for these webcasts on our Resource Center here.)
Recently, we held our quarterly special webcast, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Marketplace, which was an exploration of advanced searching techniques, reporting, and site management in OverDrive Marketplace. Weeding is a technique we discussed in detail during the webcast and it motivated many attendees to ask the question: why would I need to weed my digital collection?
In the case of your OverDrive website, there’s no fear of overcrowding your shelves so it’s logical to think the practice of weeding wouldn’t apply to your digital content; however, regular weeding can improve the health of your digital collection and lead to happier readers.
Here are a few scenarios when weeding your collection might be helpful:
When you purchase a copy of a digital title, most of the time there’s no need to remove it from your collection; however, consider those types of titles that can become outdated: travel guides, textbook editions, test preparation manuals, medical journals, legal materials, or science books. Remember when poor Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet? Thousands of science volumes became obsolete that day.
Even though these titles aren’t taking up shelf space online, consider this as an opportunity to ensure you’re providing the most current versions of those materials.
When you purchase metered access titles, you know they expire after a certain time period or number of checkouts. If those materials aren’t being checkout out frequently enough to warrant repurchasing, you’ll want to consider weeding them so users won’t be able to place holds on a title once it’s expired. Without weeding, those titles remain visible in your digital collection, even if they’re no longer available for checkout after expiry.
And remember, if a title isn’t garnering many checkouts, you can always give it a little backlist bump by featuring it in a curated collection or pairing it with another, more popular title as part of your marketing efforts.
Occasionally, you may add a title to your collection you no longer want or need. Perhaps your collection development policies change or you discover the popularity of a title has waned. You can remove titles no longer in line with those policies or that are weaker performers to make way for titles that will improve your checkouts.
Luckily, weeding is also easily reversed so if a title becomes popular again after a re-release, a movie tie-in, or a sequel, you can un-weed that title immediately.
The process of weeding a title is simple; anyone with Library or School site admin and Weeding permissions can hide or unhide titles on their OverDrive website.
1- Click on the Admin tab at the top of any page in Marketplace and choosing “Weed collection.”
2- In the “Search” popup that opens, enter as much information as you’d like to search for titles to weed (or unweed), then click Search.
3- Place a check next to the title(s) you’d like to weed (or unweed).
4- Click Weed Title(s) or Unweed Title(s).
5- Select OK in the confirmation popup.
Weeding is a simple process that can lead to increased checkouts, more accurate reports, and an up-to-date digital collection which can, in turn, create overall happier readers.
For additional tips or questions on the weeding process, contact your Collection Development Specialist or email email@example.com. If you’d like to learn more about Marketplace as a whole or The OverDrive User Experience, feel free to register for our live monthly OverDrive Basics sessions.