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Wednesday, November 7 • 2:30pm - 3:10pm
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh hear! Not all uncirculated books must chariotest to a dark wintry bed. How we used the OCLC WorldCat Search API to inform our weeding decisions with holdings data.

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Weeding a specialized collection, such as the oceanography subset of the marine science collection at the Marine Resources Library, requires thinking beyond our own walls and users. To ensure potential access to weeded items through other libraries, as well as the preservation of items unique to our own collection, we sought an efficient and free means to incorporate national holdings data into our decision-making process. The OCLC WorldCat Search API enables bibliographic data, as well as holdings from other libraries, to easily be obtained. With a Python script we obtained holdings data for most of our several thousand oceanography items, making more than ten thousand queries of the API over six minutes. We identified holdings of this collection subset within our five peer libraries, NOAA regional libraries, PASCAL (SC state consortium) libraries, LVIS member libraries, and libraries in the USA, to inform (not determine) our weeding decisions.

This session will introduce the reasoning behind the evaluation of holdings of several groups of libraries that we believe important to consider when weeding our specialized collection. An overview of the WorldCat Search API will demonstrate to attendees how we freely accessed this data and challenges of interpretation will be discussed. Participants will be invited to contribute their ideas and experience in considering other libraries’ holdings when weeding a collection.


Geoff Timms

Librarian for Marine Resources, College of Charleston
Professional interests are information literacy of graduate students and the creation of web applications to enhance user experience of libraries and improve internal process efficiency. As Librarian for Marine Resources, I feel obliged to fish regularly.