Every library weeds. I’ve been the beneficiary of this process many times with free books from libraries. When I was a teacher, I saw some colleagues get very emotional about the school librarian’s decision to weed a particular book. We may all understand that the library has to get rid of some books to make space for newer, more relevant, up-to-date or popular ones, but it’s hard to watch a favourite book lose its spot on the library shelf.
In the latest episode of 99% Invisible, Roman Mars examines how libraries weed books and one librarian, Kenneth Dowlin, revolutionized the library system in Francisco in the 90s. He embraced technology and followed a new system for weeding books instead of the popular MUSTY system.
What’s your visceral reaction when you read this quote from the story?
Dowlin’s administration started sending books to landfills. In the days after the quake, books were being sent out by the truckload. Several times a week. This is not normal library practice.Weeding is Fundamental by Roman Mars – 99% Invisible