Tag Archives: Weeding

Obscure and popular books part of Berkeley library weeding process

“When librarians from the Berkeley Public Library were examining books that had not been checked out for three years to determine which ones to keep and which to discard, they reviewed “The Housefly: Its Natural History, Medical Importance, and Control,” written by Luther S. West in 1951. It was retained. So was “A Guide to Shrubs for Coastal California,” by Harry Morton Butterfield, published in 1980, and the memoir “The Peacocks of Baboquivari,” by Erma J. Fisk, which came out in 1987. But the librarians agreed that Yingxing Song’s “Chinese Technology in the Seventeenth Century,” described by its publisher as a “1637 classic on the history of traditional Chinese technology,” didn’t need to remain in circulation. Neither did “Creating Color: a Dyer’s Handbook,” by Judy Anne Walter or “Strip City: A Stripper’s Farewell Journey across America,” by Lily Burana.” (via Berkeley Side)

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Accelerated pace of Kansas City Public Library’s book-culling process upsets volunteers

“Sylvia Stucky, a longtime member of Friends of the Kansas City Public Library, stood in the lobby of the Central Library downtown one day last week and opened her shoulder bag. “I just saved these from the dumpster this morning,” she said of 10 hardcover books on baseball that included biographies of Dizzy Dean and Joe DiMaggio. She soon would be downstairs standing near three massive boxes, measuring 4 feet high and across, filled with hundreds of other volumes bound for recycling. “They’re going to the chipper whether we want them to or not,” Stucky said of a situation she considers tragic.” (via Kansas City Star)

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ALAMEDA COUNTY LIBRARY BOARD FINDS ALTERNATIVE TO TRASHING BOOKS

Public pressure is forcing the Alameda County Library system to stop throwing away thousands of books it deemed unusable. ABC7 News first reported this story back in February and our Facebook post on it got attention nationwide, with more than 76,000 people sharing this story with their Facebook friends. Some of the books thrown out were only three years old, but library officials say many of them simply weren’t being read so they had to be dumped. At a meeting Wednesday evening, the library advisory board decided it was a good idea to contract Discover Books — a non-profit that collects, resells or gives away the material. Regardless, book enthusiasts are still upset that an estimated 172,000 items were dumped in the trash.” (via ABC7News)

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Library lovers toss the book at Alameda County’s disposal system

“But that’s what appears to have happened in Alameda County’s 10-branch library system over the past two years. Watchdog activists believe the library has discarded almost 400,000 books from its shelves. County officials contend that the number is closer to 172,000 books, and they say many of these books are passed to friend-of-library groups for sales or are recycled. When users in Albany learned that thousands of books were tossed from that library branch over a two-year period, the county library system had some explaining to do. “The librarians are now choosing for us what we should read, and they say only newer books,” said Dorothea Dorenz, 67, a retired art teacher, voracious reader and library user who has taken up the cause.” (via San Francisco Chronicle)

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Someone is Trying to Save You From Awful Books at the Boston Public Library

“February is Library Lovers’ Month, a time of year when you would expect bookworms to cuddle up in warmly lit bookstack nooks and whisper (literally whisper, this is the library we’re talking about) sweet nothings into the pages of their beloved novels. But those who visit the Boston Public Library’s “BiblioCommons” portal, which hosts user-generated reviews and reading lists by Boston Public Library members, might spot someone who appears to be a “hater” amongst all of the lovers. A user who goes by the name “noluckboston,” has used BiblioCommons to tag 74 books in the Boston Public Library system as “awful library book.” The tag “awful library book” is featured amongst some more typical categories to classify books, such as “suspense,” “romance,” and “fiction,” in the site’s “recent tags” box.” (via Boston.com)

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[Calgary Public] Library to trim about 300,000 books from collection

“The Calgary Public Library wants to reduce its book stocks by about 300,000 in order to free up more space in the buildings to run programs. The surplus books will be cleared out before the end of the year. They will be sold through a re-seller. Calgary Public Library CEO Bill Ptacek told CBC Radio’s Calgary Eyeopener that part of the motivation for culling the collection is a big change slated for the New Year. “It’s not a well-kept secret that in January the library is going to be free, there’s going to be no charge for cards,” he said.” (via CBC News)

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War of words: Book purge called necessary, but pains Chattanooga Public Library supporters

Chattanooga’s Public Library is shedding books by the thousands. Over the past two years, Library Director Corinne Hill has reduced the library’s collection by nearly half. She says it’s part of a national trend — libraries aren’t just about books anymore. “Every library in the country has had some level of discontent with regards to weeding collections,” she said. “Chattanooga has been behind so we are a little late to this game, but it is part of us moving out of the 20th century.” (via Times Free Press)

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Unpopular books flying off branch libraries’ shelves

“At the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library, clustered volumes fill only half of many long, red shelves; the rest stand empty. In the adult nonfiction section, some shelves are completely barren. The library, in Roxbury, once brimmed with books. But officials have been steadily culling its collection the past few months as part of a push by BPL administrators to dispose of up to 180,000 little-used volumes from shelves and archives of branches citywide by year’s end. Library officials say the reductions help assure that patrons can comfortably sift through a modern selection that serves their needs.” (via Boston Globe)

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Library trustee defends culling of historical volumes, despite public outcry

“A Watertown library trustee last night defended her board’s June decision to move some historical books out of the local library’s history room to clear shelf space, despite the uproar it has caused among local genealogy and historical experts. “There just isn’t enough room,” said library trustee Raya Stern in a Town Hall hallway Tuesday night. “This is stuff no one looks at. Not everything in there is valuable to Watertown.” (via Boston.com)

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Urbana Free Library executive director to leave after book weeding scandal

“The Urbana Free Library will now be looking for a new executive director. Tuesday’s board of trustees meeting ended with President Chris Scherer announcing that the board came to an early separation agreement with current executive director Debra Lissak. Scherer said Lissak’s end date will be figured out in the next couple weeks as the trustees search for an interim director. This early separation agreement comes after last month’s special board meeting when dozens of Urbana residents spoke to the board about their disagreement with the rapid and extensive book weeding that happened in the nonfiction section of the library in early June. Carol Inskeep, an employee of adult services, said 9,600 books were weeded from nonfiction in a matter of four days.” (via The Daily Illini)

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