Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Weeding, a catharsis for the librarian soul

I love to weed. For those of you that are not librarians, it's simply the act of deciding what stays and what goes on a library's shelves. I've found that a near obsessive attitude isn't generational among the librarians here - one Baby Boomer gets a thrill out of getting rid of old resume books, while a 30-something holds on for dear life.

Weeding makes the shelves so much more accessible. No longer are the well-loved books sharing space with moldy oldies that haven't gone out since the Nixon administration. After weeding, the collection looks approachable, with so much more potential for things to be discovered.

It's probably silly to wax poetic about the simple act of removing books from a library's shelves and dumping them in the bin for the used book sale, where they'll most likely sit on someone's shelves at home, unopened, for the next decade. But heck, librarianship can be a sentimental and romantic calling.

A few books that I weeded today:

~ Best Loved Songs of the American People (1975; we didn't need two copies on the shelf.)

~1900-1919 The Dawn of the 20th Century (1973; hadn't circulated in five years. Ahchoo!)

~Conversation with the Blues (1965; includes illustrations by the author)

Want any of these? Be sure to stop by our booksale next month.


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