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Best Practices


When you withdraw an item, there are many things to consider.

  • Do want or need to keep statistics on the number of items and value of those items discarded?

  • Might you want to reorder any of the items that you are withdrawing or order replacement items that contain my up-to-date information on the subject?

  • Would you like to make withdrawals, especially weeding faster and easier?

Withdrawing Items by Deleting the Copy and/or Item Record

One method of withdrawing an item is to simply to delete the copy from the Item record using the Remove Copy command and, if that was the only copy, then using the Remove Title command.  Before using this method, please realize that this method does not:

  • Provide the fastest method to accomplish withdrawing materials from your collection

  • Provide statistics for the number and value of the withdrawals

  • Provide a list of items withdrawn

  • Provide a list of items withdrawn by reason to facilitate reordering or updating your collection

Withdrawing Items Using the Discarded Items Patron

Using the Discarded Items patron (barcode 2) remedies many of the deficiencies of just deleting the item copy and/or title.  It will:

  • Provide the fastest method to accomplish withdrawing materials from your collection

  • Provide statistics for the number and value of the withdrawals

  • Provide a list of items withdrawn

  • Provide a list of items withdrawn by reason to facilitate reordering or updating your collection

  • Provide the author, title, ISBN, LCCN, publisher, etc. for items withdrawn from your collection

The procedure is quite simple.

  • Type 2 and press [enter].

  • Scan the barcode of the first item for discard.  The Discarded Item window will open.

  • Select the reason for the withdrawal for the item.  You may wish to use more specific reason than "Weeded" such as Objectionable Material, No Use, Outdated, Worn Out.  These reasons will help you identify items to reorder or items for which to order something with more up-to-date information.  If this is the case, select Other and then enter the reason you wish to use.  Check Remember this reason.

  • If you are discarding multiple items for this reason, select Discard and Change Mode.  This will put that reason as a discard note on all items that you scan while this Discard Mode is in effect.

  • Scan the barcodes of all items that you are discarding for this reason.  When you are finished, use the Clear command (type a period (.) and press [enter]) to exit the Discard Mode.

  • If you have additional items to discard for other reasons, repeat the process entering the next reason in the field provided when you select Other.

  • Run the reports that you need before running the following utility that will remove the discarded copies and titles.  If you run the utility first, then you will not have any information to generate the reports.  For the SuperSummary to give valid statistics, run the utility at the end of the school year.  If you do not care about those statistics, run your other reports first, then run the utility.

  • Run Remove Discarded Copies utility (Tools  ] Utilities ] Utility Type -- Items, Operation -- Remove Discarded Copies ).  Enter the period for which you wish to remove the discarded copies; generally this will be from the beginning of the school or fiscal year to the end of the school or fiscal year.  Check Remove Titles without Copies

Withdrawal Reports

Several reports in Alexandria give statistics or information based upon the items that have been withdrawn.

Making Weeding Easier Using the Weeding Report

Alexandria has a wonderful report that makes the weeding process faster and easier.  Use the graphic below as a model for setting up the report.  Notice that a specific call number range has been selected so that you can work your way through the entire collection in manageable "chunks."  Notice also that we are just looking for books published between certain years so that we can look at the oldest items.  When the report is printed, it will not only list the call number, barcode, title and year of publication, but it will also give the LTD (life-to-date) circulation statistics for that copy as well as the Last Use date.  This report will aid in selecting those items that are outdated or that have had no circulation. 

  • Super Summary (Tools ] Reports ] Item Reports ]Report Type - Super Summary; Format-your choice) -- Reports statistical information on withdrawn items such as number, from what call number range, policy, medium and the value of those items.

  • Reordering Details (Tools ] Reports ] Item Reports ] Report Type - Reordering Details; Select by - Copy Status (Detailed) or Discard Note (enter the reason(s) you want reported)) -- Lists all items that fit the criteria giving author, title, publisher, ISBN, LCCN, etc.

  • Reordering Details (Tools ] Reports ] Circulation Reports ] Special Items Lists ] Format: Reordering Details; Sort By Your Choice; Select By: Discard Note or Discard Date) -- This is essentially the same report as the one above, but just a different way to get to it.

  • Special Items Lists (Tools ] Reports ] Circulation Reports ] Report Name: Special Item Lists; Format: Discarded Copies; Sort By: Your Choice; Select By: Discard Note or Discarded On Date) -- You may select to have both items discarded from inventory and items discarded from patrons (damaged books)or just one of these options.  This report will list the discarded items and the reason for withdrawal which will help you when deciding which items to reorder or what areas need updated materials to replace those withdrawn.

  • Go to Tools and select Reports.

  • Select Copies tab and the General subtab.

  • Click on the Add (+) icon in the bottom-left corner of the window.

  • Change the Report Type to Weeding List.

  • Change the Select By to Copy Call Number and enter a call number range.

  • Click on the Add (+) icon to add another Select By indicator.

  • Set the new Select By to Publication Year and enter date range in appropriate fields.

  • Click on Print. 

"I've been pleased with Alexandria ever since we bought the program. Tech support has been great and I like the fact that I can call at all hours, even when working late and get a human to help me."
—Vicki Reed
San Diego County Office of Education
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