Purging, Trimming, or Weeding

A few weeks ago, The Boston Globe reported that the Boston Public Library would be trimming down their collection. Trimming makes it sound like it’s a small amount of books, but 180,000 isn’t so tiny, perhaps purging is a better word. Of course not everyone is happy at this amount – I noticed that BPL recently blogged about their collection policy to answer questions of those who are concerned about the reduction.

This is on my mind mostly because I’m in the process of weeding the 800s (poetry, plays, and more). Weeding doesn’t bother me. If we were a public archive, it would be an issue, but I don’t mind getting rid of older books that aren’t circulating, especially since we regularly get new books added to the collection that often have updated information.

…but…I did check out a few of the books on the list to keep them in the collection a little longer, plus I made a display of some of them in hopes that they might catch the eye of a patron.


6 thoughts on “Purging, Trimming, or Weeding

  1. It says they add 132,000 items a year, 11,000 each month so really 180,000 is hardly anything. And if the picture they use on the blog is from one of their libraries, they need to weed LOL!

    But New England libraries and city libraries are just so different from suburban county libraries. I wonder what our yearly purchases are at AACPL…

  2. oh and you won’t believe this but when I first started out, I hated weeding and didn’t want to do it. Once you’re in the branch long enough, you realize how much random stuff is purchased and not wanted and not something that needs to be saved. I believe patrons forget that and when they see any articles about weeding or finding books in the recycling bins, they freak out, imagining it to be a case of brand new classics and not just 50 copies of last month’s James Patterson and a bunch of Charles Dickens with coffee stains all over.

  3. I honestly had never thought about libraries culling their books until I helped move our old library into a new building this summer. Interestingly, they culled a bunch of books from a series that a patron came looking for as soon as we opened the new library.

    I can’t imagine culling anything written by an author like bell hooks, even if they aren’t checked out on a regular basis.

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