I'm really interested in how YOU do it. I want to hear all the gory details. Spill it. Let me tell how it would work here, if it was a perfect world:
A librarian would gather their books together, CHECK THE DATABASE/CATALOG, take into account more than just what is happening at your particular branch, make a decision.
Gather books together: Doesn't mean you have to gather a cart full of books. It doesn't mean you have to finish one section before you start another. Do what is convenient! If FIC is tight in the V's (as if) then do that section. If the 641.5's need room RIGHT NOW, do that. MYS, SF, etc. Do what needs to be done. If you have time to go from A to Z in fiction you're lucky.
Check the database/Catalog & Take the entire system into account: These go together and we fall down here. Lately, some librarians have fallen into the habit of seeing multiple copies of books and just discarding until they get to a number they like. But we are a floating collection (oh the posts we could have about that!) and so it isn't just what it looks like at your branch, but how the overall system looks. We have 22 branches. Yes, you may have 5 copies of a title at your branch, but those are the ONLY five copies in the system. Or the others may have 90+ circ, and you have the best five copies. Or all the copies listed are missing/lost/stolen/in witness protection.....whatever. The point is, the catalog is an important tool. Now, we hear that people don't have time to check every title in the catalog if they want to get weeding done. My question is: how do you NOT have time? It would be like ordering a book we already own because I don't have time to check if we have it already. What? This, obviously, is my pet peeve. I don't have many, but this is definitely one of them.
Of course, those of you who follow me on twitter know that it is anything but a perfect world. We keep books that haven't circulated in 4 (or 14 or 22) years, and get rid of books with a pub date of 2010 and still have holds. Or get rid of copies of books that had 5 circs, while there is a copy with 91 circs still making the rounds.
And then there are damaged items. I don't know about you, but I'm not eager to check out a book that has "stains noted" written in the back. Great. You noted them. Why do you think anyone wants to check out a book with mystery stains? One of the best stories ever is when we found a CD, still circulating, that had "crack noted" on the case.
Someone had complained because it wouldn't play, if you can imagine that.
Okay, that's us. What about you? Tell me your best stories.