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December 23, 2004

Weeding

I went into the library today and yesterday. I finished a big project. I weeded the biography section and then I moved a stack out. There were way too many little stacks that just didn't fit. I got rid of a lot of old biographies. Then when I had to reorganize the fiction section due to the fact that I wanted to get rid of an old book stack - I ended up moving about thirty rows. That meant that I weeded those too.

Weeding is a bit medicinal. It's quiet in there - just a little music. I like listening to Frank Sinatra. I really get going when I hear him sing. Then I move books from row to row and look at each one to make sure that they're not disgusting, falling apart, smelly, or just out of touch with young adults.

Weeding is one of those misunderstood items in librarianship. It has to be done in order to make room for new books. But the community often doesn't think it should be done. They think - you're throwing out a book! Well....yes ...to make room.

Last year at my old library, I came in after a librarian had been in there for twenty years. She was a pack rat and never threw a book out. I threw out 5000 books in a year. It was an enormous job, but oh so needed. I used to call them booger books. They were absolutely disgusting - filthy with ripped and yellow pages. No one in that school would ever read a book like that. When I left that job the library was in great shape. Every book on that shelf was clean, slightly used or new, and appealing to read.

Weeding also changes the look of the library. When you weed a dense library it looks so much cleaner and newer once the old books are removed. Last year one person said that I had purchased so many new books. I really hadn't purchased that many new books. I just weeded out all of those old books to make things upbeat and new.

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