I don't use Alma. I use Sirsi's Symphony.
To do weeding and/or inventory I use Sirsi's API to output MARC records and
any other item specific data (like sortable call numbers) that I want and
load all of the above into a MySQL database. A Perl script in a cgi-bin
provides a shelf-list that is 10 items long. You can select a "dusty date"
which color codes items that haven't been checked out since before that
date and mark items as KEEP, MISSING, REPLACE (sends the librarian an email
to remind them to order a replacement), or WEED (along with a reason: not
enough use, poor condition, etc). It also links out to HathiTrust (is there
a viewablePDF?) , RCL (is it worth having?), the catalog (if you want to
see the complete MARC), WorldCat (who else has it?) and Amazon (how much
might it cost to replace?) Once marked that item appears at the top of the
list so that you can confirm that you did the right thing and then start
working on the second item in the list and rinse and repeat.
The only thing that makes it complicated is the charge history of each item
which is pulled out of Symphony's history logs and kept in another MySQL
table - but it's worth the trouble since this information is SO helpful
when deciding whether or not to keep the book. Maybe it was checked out 25
times but only once in the last 20 years.
Depending on the follow-thru a script might change the current location in
Symphony to MISSING or DISCARD en masse via API.
I call it Paperless Online Weeding aka POW.
Systems Librarian | Library
Drew University | 36 Madison Ave | Madison, NJ 07940
(973) 408-3207 | drew.edu
On Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 2:58 PM Janice Banser <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hi all.
> SFU library is planning a major weeding project, many tens of thousands of
> volumes spread across a floor of our library and we are on a tight
> deadline. (so not a lot of time for in-house development) We're
> identifying lists of weeding candidates using a combination of tools
> including Alma (our ILS), Greenglass, spreadsheets, etc. The next step will
> be to send student shelvers into the stacks with booktrucks, laptops, and
> barcode scanners. The idea is that they'll have an application or interface
> that prompts them what to look for, sourced from a master spreadsheet
> without the ability to write directly back to Alma or the Master
> spreadsheet. They will scan barcodes to capture pulled items. In the case
> of missing items or other problems, we want them to take notes for future
> In the past we have done this kind of weed with paper lists. Trucks of
> books are pulled, lists are noted with problems, etc. Then the books go to
> tech services for re-wanding to create sets, and the inventory deletion can
> proceed. We know about applications like Book-Be-Gone. What's different
> about this weed is the scale. We'll be pulling multiple trucks of books
> every day. We need an efficient workflow that can handle this volume of
> weeds. Paper lists won't cut it.
> We are looking for a tool that would draw from the Master spreadsheet that
> contains, on a per line basis, info about a single book. What we envision
> is that the info about a single book, taken from a line in the spreadsheet,
> would display on a screen and the shelver would input some info, such as
> "yes, I pulled this book off the shelf", then, after they noted what they
> had done with the book, the info they inputted into the display would be
> written to the spreadsheet (a copy?), adding to the line on the spreadsheet
> that pertained to the book in question. After the shelver was done
> inputting info for a single book, the display would proceed to show the
> next book listed in the spreadsheet.
> We are interested in hearing from any libraries that have carried out a
> weeding project of this scale, bonus if you use Alma. 😊 What APIs,
> workflows, tools, (Alma features), etc. were you able to use to make things
> easier? Did you build additional applications for the staff, and did they
> integrate with Alma if you use Alma?
> Thanks in advance for any thoughts or advice on this.
> Janice Banser, Systems Librarian
> Simon Fraser University Library
> [log in to unmask]