Heather's thoughts on weeding:
I was recently on an interview panel where a lot of discussion took place on previous experience in weeding and collection management. Half way through the day, one of the non library panel members finally said 'Can I clear something up? What is weeding?'
It's amazing to think of how something that is such a big issue in public librarianship is not really considered or on the radar of the majority of people who visit our libraries. Equally amazing is the range of opinions out there among library staff on what weeding means, what should be weeded, where weeded items should go, who should be weeding etc etc etc.
I have accidentally stepped into the minefield on many occasions, upsetting some and being thanked by others for taking action.
It is so confusing though isn't it? We delete books because they haven't been read enough, we also delete books because they've been read too much. We have obligations to delete out of date information, but also an obligation to provide access to historical information. Our customers want the latest books but can't bear to see our oldest and most used copies of the classics in the recycling bin. We need to expand our collections but we also need to expand our study space and there's only so much room!
I'd love to hear from anyone who has a story to tell about their collection and its maintenance. Have you seen an innovative way to recycle old books? Do you have a great system in place where everyone can get involved in giving the collection the love it deserves? Do you live by MUSTIE weeding guidelines or have you seen something even better?