Thursday, May 2, 2013

Nothin' from nothin' leave nothin'

Are you holding on to old books just because they fill up the shelf and make your library look full?
Stop it right now!

As Mary Kelly said on her Awful Library Books blog:
I urge you to saddle up your dinosaur and get out of the way...I am pointing the finger at librarians who refuse to get rid of [outdated] stuff for the utterly stupid reason of “but we won’t have anything.” Guess what? You don’t.
It does take time and energy to weed your collection  but it also takes time and energy for your library users to browse your church library shelves.  Your library is there for them.

To quote another old song: " accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative."


  1. I can't get my head around, as a reference professional librarian, what is defined as "outdated" unless it's a reference book.

    Those are expensive and difficult to replace.
    Other books which may have come from retiring ministers, teachers, and recommendations and reviewers, seem to me still have value whether there is an old date of publication on them or not. Different strokes for different folks should be invoked here.

    Even a note from Billy Graham of 20 years ago is as current today as it was then.

    Items from those giants of the first half of the 20th Century still are quoted in sermons and by people reading their works.

    So before one starts weeding, be sure to define what "outdated" should mean in the context of helping people with their issues as well as reading habits. What they want may not be what patrons in a church venue need.

  2. I totally agree with you!

    Weeding can't be based on publication date alone - although that is a good place to start when reviewing a collection. Weeding should take into account the mission of the library and the needs of the people.

    I inserted the word "outdated" in the quote. The original phrase was "this kind of stuff" referring to a 1991 career guide which was clearly outdated.


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