Tag Archives: Weeding

Weeding the Worst Library Books

“Last summer, in Berkeley, California, librarians pulled roughly forty thousand books off the shelves of the public library and carted them away. The library’s director, Jeff Scott, announced that his staff had “deaccessioned” texts that weren’t regularly checked out. But the protesters who gathered on the library’s front steps to decry what became known as “Librarygate” preferred a different term: “purged.” “Put a tourniquet on the hemorrhage,” one of the protesters’ signs declared. “Don’t pulp our fiction,” another read.” (via The New Yorker)

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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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