In 2008, the University of Louisville’s Ekstrom Library printed reference collection numbered almost 30,000 volumes. Copious collecting and little weeding built up the collection during the era before the Internet. There had been considerable reluctance to address its more outdated sections due to competing priorities and inertia. A change of leadership as well as the recognition of changing use patterns lessened the need for such a large collection. In 2008, three librarians began a title-by-title review process that has resulted in an 86% reduction in size by 2014. This article describes that process, summarizes the results, and discusses the benefits and disadvantages of this approach.
Original Publication Information
Johnson, Anna Marie, Sue Finley, and Claudene Sproles. “Dismantling the Reference Collection.” The Reference Librarian 56.3 (2015): 161-173.
Johnson, Anna Marie; Finley, Susan; and Sproles, Claudene, "Dismantling the reference collection." (2015). Faculty Scholarship. Paper 22.