Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Dividing a collection when a school closes: 10 ideas

Posted on: May 28, 2011

Shrinking budgets and declining enrollments often lead to school closings.    Dividing the media center collection is one of the many tasks to carefully consider and plan.  The plan and process should be curriculum, collection management and student driven; it is not a matter of boxing up and shipping the thousands of dollars worth of instructional materials to another location or locations.  Just as materials are selected and acquired to meet the curricular needs of the school, they should be relocated with using similar criteria.

Following are a few basic getting started ideas to begin planning the process of  redistributing  and relocating materials including books, non print & electronic media, supplies, capital items, technology, archival items, decorative items and all other materials that are part of the media center’s collection.

  1. Weed diligently.
  2. Inventory the existing materials.
  3. Delete the missing items from the collection.
  4. Provide a way for materials to follow a teacher to another school if specific materials are uniquely used by that teacher.
  5. If specific materials are routinely borrowed by another media center it makes sense to relocate those materials in that school.
  6. Provide district media specialists an opportunity to select materials they can use to replace lost or damaged items or update, or complete a series
  7. Invite teams of teachers and the media specialist to select materials they would like to add to their school’s media center. Consider age and ability levels.
  8. Determine a method of exporting MARC records and maintaining the automation system database.  Export the records to the appropriate school if appropriate.
  9. Invite students to select what they like as a remembrance.
  10. Donate what remains to an organization of the school or district’s choice.

Expand these ideas to develop a plan that meets the needs of your students, teachers and curriculum  and follows district guidelines.

Without a plan materials will be mismanaged, underutilized and lost.


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