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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Can't Bear to Part With Them

We are weeding again in the library. A necessary process, it does not come without hesitancy and regret. The cooperative efforts of two librarians and several library assistants helps to ease the uncertainty. A list from our book vendor guides the process. Still, we find ourselves tenderly holding certain books, unable to weed them despite their poor conditions, decades-old copyright dates, and lack of circulation. Several of Margaret Wise Brown's books have plain covers and are just not appealing to readers, no matter how we advertise the interior. Though Robert Newton Peck's Soup gets checked out, all the follow-up books do not. With nonfiction, it is a bit easier. The information is dated and inaccurate, so we can put books on a cart for recycling with little hesitation. Many times though, we sigh and place our favorites back on the shelves in hopes that other, younger readers will someday love them, too.

The Gooseberry River, bursting its banks after intense rainfall over the past week, was parted by an island.


  1. Culling the stakes is indeed a painful activity. I hope you find a good home for those books that still have shelf life left in them. I take my books to Books for Africa...have you used them??

  2. weeding is the only way to control the flood of books but i understand how hard it is to sacrifice some of your favorites. does it help if you book-talk one every so often?

  3. I view it as a necessary evil, like gardening. The books that remain on the shelves are checked out more often once the shelves are weeded. Plus, I can display books with the front covers showing which also increases circulation.

  4. We do not send our discards to Books for Africa, Kate. Most are in such poor condition that it would be disrespectful to pass them on to those who are in need of quality books. It does help to book-talk those titles that do not frequently go off the shelves, Brattcat. That happened with ROUND TRIP by Ann Jonas two years ago. I agree with you, Ms. B, that the titles that remain get more use when the ones around them are weeded.