Best of 2006 Recap
Poetry Friday: Children's Poetry Essay

People Are Talking About...

Gawker unravels the Traveling Pants and looks at the "bargain" house that Ann Brashares, the series' author, bought.

A Virginia library system tosses classics, via the Washington Post. A Wall Journal op-ed writer weighs in on the matter in one of the more irritating editorials I've read in a while, with such statements as "Fairfax County may think that condemning a few dusty old tomes allows it to keep up with the times. But perhaps it's inadvertently highlighting the fact that libraries themselves are becoming outmoded."

Townfolk in Maplewood, New Jersey, want their library to consider staying open during after-school hours. Previously because of teens on a tear, the library wanted to close right after schools let out. (via the New York Times)

"Miss Potter," the movie starring Renee Zellweger as the creator of Peter Rabbit, lands in theaters January 5th. You can find links to many reviews at Metacritic.


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Oh good, I can write about it here.

The article in the Post has many inaccuracies, in that the some of the specific titles that they mentioned are not really threatened at all. We were probably weeding out a specific, likely damaged, copy. That is how the FC system is responding to the article.

However, the spirit of the article is on the mark. There are many titles that are being eliminated just because they haven't been checked out for two years. And while it is said that the librarians have discretion, they don't really. You are encouraged to use the weeding list to the book and there is no real way to make an exception. Along with classics, we'll also toss out brand new books if they have circulated.

Now, I'll say, the list is of all books that haven't been checked out in two years, and it is a wonderful tool. It allows us to delete books from the electronic catalog that went missing long ago. It allows us to locate damaged books, unneeded multiple copies, old editions, and older, dated books. But, it becomes a problem when we look at the list - and the computer - as the most important element in weeding decisions instead of our professional, and knowledgeable staff.

Wow. That felt so good to say that.

Brava, brava!

Weeding is an art -- not a science. And when "last use" is the only rule, it turns it into a science. And not a very good science. I cannot help but wonder -- if all the "never checked out books" were all GLBTQ or African American or something like that, would TPTB still be so hot and heavy to say "last use is the most important thing" as opposed to "well rounded, up to date collection for our entire community"?

There were several Fairfax County librarians at a meeting I attended this morning. Lots of interesting talk and perspectives on the article.

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