Traditionally, our library has held a book sale every September. We’re still working out details for what we want to do this year, but I thought maybe now would be a good time to talk to the public about a touchy subject.
Any person who loves to read would have a negative, visceral reaction to the idea of a library getting rid of books. Myself included! I didn’t understand the concept of “weeding” a library until I started taking my state certification classes.
Weeding is when a librarian goes through the collection and selects titles to be withdrawn. It seems counterproductive—why would a library get rid of books? But weeding is vital to the “health” of a library’s collection.
There are many reasons for a library to weed. One of them is a matter of space. If you have seen our adult fiction and large print sections, then you know some thinning and rearranging needs to be done to maximize our space. This may mean getting rid of some older titles that haven’t been checked out in a long time.
Another reason is currency. Reference materials like medical books are often outdated before they even hit our shelves. It can be dangerous to keep around grossly outdated medical books. For example, our drug guide from 2008 is almost ten years old. Think all of the medications that have been invented or changed since then! In the case of medical information, we will usually direct patrons to reliable internet sources.