Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Now they tell me!

One of the most frustrating areas of my job is weeding. That is the term that librarians use for removing old books from the shelves. There are many reasons for doing this. Sometimes the books are just worn out and are being replaced. Sometimes the library has more copies of a work than it needs. Sometime the content is dated. Sometimes the focus of the library has changed. But mostly books are pulled, as much as librarians hate to admit it simply because nobody reads them. This last reason is really problematic and bothersome. Librarians actually spend a lot of time reading reviews, looking at curriculum and deciding what to buy. They then promote the new purchases, look at lesson plans and try to let teachers know what is available. All to no avail. So, this potentially really useful book sits on the shelf for 10 years until the person who has their job after them sees the book and says, "That's dated" and throws it away.

That's when the problem starts. As soon as I publish a list of withdrawn items I get teachers and administrators at my desk saying "What, you're gonna throw that out! That's to useful to discard!"

Then why didn't they read it before I got ready to throw it out?

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who knows that 95% of everything in a library is simply helping to make the other 5% that is read look important but doesn't like it

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