Data-Driven Deaccession: The WeedingHelper Script

Short Form


Figuring out what to keep and what to get rid of is an important task for librarians, and the armada of statistics kept is supposed to help. Getting things to mesh just right, however, sometimes requires custom code. I'll show you my solution (in Ruby) and the reasons why I created it.


Deciding what to keep and what to get rid of is a regular task for librarians and archivists, and there’s an army of stats and programs that can help make decisions. When the reports I wanted didn’t include the statistics I wanted to see, I created something that would help find those underperforming items in the collection. I’ll take a tour of the WeedingHelper Ruby script I created and its underlying ideas, as well as having a discussion of what constitutes good reasons for and statistics to use when removing items from a collection.


collection management, libraries, archives, Ruby, weeding

Speaking experience

Feb 2016: Storytime Extravaganza: Early Literacy Asides - You Already Have What It Takes - (Slides -
OSB 2015: The Library As An (Almost) Open-Source Institution - ( Presentation - Slides -


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