Managing Collections

During the final days of the winter semester, I neglected my Hart House responsibilities as deadlines and exams loomed*.

I determined that I would go today, and managed to make up for at least a few shifts I missed over the past couple of weeks. When I arrived, I noticed the re-shelving cart looked particularly cluttered, so the first task was to separate the books to be re-shelved and the books that needed cataloging. Then the first set got separated into their subject categories, and replaced.

One of the projects I undertook when I started volunteering was to catalog and create spine labels for those books that did not have them. Today I added to that weeding the collection according to the library’s collections management policy. After reading through the policy, I discovered that many of the books without spine labels were actually not relevant to the library’s mandate, so I recorded those on Zotero in a “Deaccession” file. Each book added to Zotero has notes on why I suggested it be deaccessioned, in addition to its basic bibliographic information. The few that passed ended up in a different folder, and then I recommended two of them for replacement in a third file. As of the end of my shift, Zotero had not updated the changes, but hopefully that will happen sooner than later.

The second project, rare book transfers (sending deaccessioned books to Fisher Library), is currently in an in-between stage – we are waiting for word on what paperwork should be completed before physically getting the books to the Fisher.

Last Thursday at a Library Committee meeting, the curator suggested an Open House in May. I volunteered to help promote the event. On Tuesday I had a meeting with two other volunteers, when we discussed in what formats we want to advertise and where and when we should advertise. I also put up a request on the library wiki for input and feedback on what kind of event the volunteers wanted (refreshments? what time of day? what date is best), and emailed the curator to let everyone know to respond.

*Finally I looked up that word (, and one of the definitions seems particularly apt: “to rise before the vision with the appearance of great or portentous size.” As in (definition of portentous): “ominously significant.” As in, thank goodness that’s over.


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