Weeding – no, not the kind that happens with plants

8 Dec

We’re currently in the middle of a a large weeding project at my library because it’s one of those things that is (a) something that has to happen all the time, (b) desperately needing to be done in a number of areas, and (c) is something that takes time and since much of the programming slows down near the end of the year, I have some time to focus my energy on this project.

Weeding is one of those library responsibilities that people either love or hate. Many librarians don’t want to weed for fear of someone needing that specific title in the future, but it’s a necessity for most libraries where space is limited and more books are being published every year. Research has shown that collections that have been weeded often circulate better because they look shiny and new and are easier to access than cramped bookshelves full of outdated, old, musty books.

Not all collections are easy to weed, we’re currently working on folk and fairy tales – so difficult because they don’t truly go out of date, but many of ours are decades old and need to be replaced with new copies or have about ten iterations of the same tale retold by a variety of authors and illustrators. It’s not always easy to figure out what should remain on the shelf and what should be removed, but we’re looking at the quality of the book, whether it has appeal for today’s kids, and if it can be replaced with a new edition, in the case of some popular titles.

For a great resource on weeding, check out CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries created by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in 2008. The best part, it’s available free online!

My favorite part about weeding are the crazy titles you find hidden in your collection and for some truly great ones, check out Awful Library Books online… A truly funny list of submitted titles actually found in libraries!

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One Response to “Weeding – no, not the kind that happens with plants”

  1. lbpsbbook December 10, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    Reblogged this on LBPSB Library Resources and commented:
    Weeding is an essential part of our lives. What do you do with your weeded books? Create book art projects, build furniture pieces or use these books in displays? There is still so much potential for this books after they have left our shelves.

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