Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What the Heck is Denewing?

"Denewing" is the term I invented for the process of taking books from the new shelf and changing their status to, for lack of a better word, "not-new." Sure, I could farm the work out to other people in my library, but it's never been clear to me why I would when denewing presents the perfect opportunity to see what has been circulating, how many times, and (thanks to Evergreen, our new ILS) the last library at which an item was checked out. Plus, peeling stickers = therapeutic. Denewing is something I can do on desk while I help people with their various computer issues.

Denewing also makes your new shelves look better. Because space is at such a premium in most public libraries (although regular weeding could help with that--cough), the New Shelf is the place where we have the best opportunity to showcase what we're buying and catch people's attention. The new shelf should be positioned somewhere where it will catch patrons' eyes and shout (item-wise): HEY, THESE ARE THE COOL, INFORMATIVE, USEFUL THINGS WE ARE BUYING WITH YOUR TAX MONEY.


A "before" shot. Notice how the book on display is squeezed so far over that it's only half visible? That is not ideal. An overcrowded shelf says "sure, put that book back wherever you want, we won't notice."


An "after" shot from one of my sections. Which shelf would you rather peruse?

Leave enough space for one book to be displayed face out and enough space for books coming back to be shelved in the section without creating a space problem for the book on display. New books usually circulate more frequently than denewed books, and sometimes they all come back at once. And, out of consideration for the people (patrons, pages, circ staff, or reference librarians) who will be looking for specific books in the New section, have your display books be from approximately the same call number range as the shelf they are sitting on! A book from the 100s should not be on display in the 900s.


And then there are the opportunities for art . . . all those stickers have to go somewhere, right?

I usually denew every month or so, and the items I'm switching have generally been on the shelf at least nine months. I know from some conversations on Twitter that this is a long time for a lot of libraries, but it seems to work for our collection. Rather than denew on a schedule, I keep an eye on my subject areas (nonfiction only, my collection responsibilities do not extend to hardback fiction) and denew whenever they're looking a little crowded. I may order a lot of books in one subject area one month (e.g., martial arts, for which I recently ordered several titles), which would lead to heavier denewing in that area nine months later. I don't necessarily denew everything I pull off the shelf, either. I might keep a high circulating book on the New Shelf, or one that is seasonally appropriate.

Try to keep in mind that every book that you denew has to have its own shelf space in the regular stacks. For every book in, there should be a book out.

What are your experiences with denewing?

28 comments:

Kristen said...

Our 'new' stickers are the actual month. On average, they spend 3 months on the new book shelves.

We tend to send new books out in very large batches, so when we don't have room for the latest cart, we remove everything from the oldest month.

There's a shelf for large print and a shelf for everything else. (For very convoluted reasons, large print is basically our only fiction. And it's hugely popular.)

Until recently, de-newed books were sent back to Technical Services to have the stickers removed and their location updated in the catalog. But that took a few days because we're always swamped. In the meantime, people at the Circ desk were really short on projects that could be done while sitting there. They just hadn't been considered capable of this task. They are though. And as the public interface, it helps them to see the circs as they're scanning them too. Made no difference to the processor in the back room.

pussreboots said...

We have two librarians who are responsible for collection development. The de-newing schedule falls on their shoulders.

As the copy-cataloger, my part in the process is the switching of "new" to "stacks" as I find the books. We are in the process of updating to standard's compliant RFID tags and sometimes I come across books still tagged as "new" that haven't been NEW or shelved on the new stacks for years.

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BrooklynShoeBabe said...

We don't have a regular "de-newing" schedule. We just do it whenever the new book shelves look tight. Since the books are stamped with the date they came in, we have a policy of not having books older than 5 to 6 months on the new shelf. Because the new books' shelf is a high commodity space, we decided to stop putting new stickers on first released as paperback titles.

Great post.

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Anonymous said...

This is great! I love the phrase "denewing", but you also point out that it is good for the collection librarian to follow things through the cycle. I have been trying to make this point to my supervisor.

Heather Iveson said...

Our new stickers are the year, each year they pick another colour. it works well and makes spotting the potentially outdated much easier.