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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Spring Cleaning Time: Weeding Tips

Summer's unofficially began this past weekend, and like many in the Chicagoland area, the cold weather kept me inside more than I would have liked.

As a result, I got caught up on my spring cleaning.  One of the big projects I was hoping to tackle in the beginning weeks of June got done early because of the weather-- weeding the kids' over flowing book shelves.

I am sure it comes as no surprise that my kids love to read.  And like their mother, they also don't mind weeding out the old to make way for the new.  I am well known for my love of weeding and all the good it can do for your collection.  Click here for those details.

But as much as I love weeding, my friend and colleague Rebecca Vnuk, an editor over at Booklist, is the Queen of Weeding.  This month, she expanded her popular Weeding Tips FAQ .  You can click here to access it and find links to an entire webinar she ran on weeding, as well as even more tips.

It's all the info you could ever want to make your collection leaner and more responsive to patrons' needs. As I have said before here [but it bears repeating since many of you librarians won't let go of anything], weeding is a huge part of customer service.  Keeping your shelves neat, clean, and full of books your patrons actually want to read is one of your most important duties.  Don't be afraid of weeding.  Embrace it by looking to the Queen of Weeding for assistance.

Back to my weeding.  I was mostly getting rid of picture books from my about to be 3rd and 6th grade children's book shelves.  While I have been slowly weeding their shelves for years, I had been keeping some of the Eric Carle, Mo Willems, and other favorite picture books on their shelves.  Yes, I was probably in denial about their growing up, but even I could no longer justify taking up the room.  So, 2 paper bags of picture books were put aside for donation and 2 plastic boxes were put in the attic to await the next generation of readers.

It was painless and easy. The treasured books are safe in labeled boxes and can be easily retrieved if I want them back.  I am happier to see their rooms less cluttered, but more importantly, by clearing out the clutter, they both spent some time in their rooms rediscovering the books still left on their shelves; books they had been hidden by the cramped conditions but now, unearthed by our weeding, were enjoyed once again. It was a weeding success story right under my own roof.

So get out there and do some spring cleaning of your own and weed a section or 2 at your library in the coming weeks.  At the BPL we are constantly weeding and sending our discards to Reading Tree, but I understand some of you need to start with baby steps.  Maybe a nice hard look at your personal home shelves is a good place to start.

1 comment:

Alissa W said...

I LOVE Weeding! Just finished a weed of the 000s & 100s at my library, which apparently had not been gone through in some time, as I found the classic "Photojournalism: a Professional's Guide" FROM 1974! And a book by Mrs. Dale Carnegie "Help your husband succeed" from 1968. Among the wisdom in this book "don't nag. Leave your husband alone when he first comes home." Anyway, thanks for the resources to fuel my enthusiasm. ~Alissa