Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Weeding, or things that make me very sad
One of my parent volunteers was in yesterday and asked what she should do. I said "It's that time of year again. We need to look at weeding." "No, we don't," she scoffed. "There can't possibly be anything LEFT. I've been weeding here for six years!"
I turned and pulled a suspiciously faded book on Hinduism off the shelf. 1979. Is there anything that was published in 1979 that is still current?
Well, except for Cross Country Runner (1975). And My Robot Buddy (1977), which I just bought a copy of on Half.com because our library copy is always out and quickly being reduced to glue and tape.
The point being is that I am absolutely not opposed to old titles. Some old titles I adore. They circulate all the time. Students love them. That Cross Country Runner still has reserves on it.
What I had to look at yesterday was books that have NOT been circulating. Books that are taking up valuable room on the shelves. That are dusty. That smell. Yes, since we had a sculptor in the library (more later) and it was a weirdly busy-then-not-busy day, I spent a lot of the day SMELLING BOOKS. The ones that appear at the top of this post? Ponging. Or, as one of my students said "Not a bad smell exactly, just like my grandmother's house."
I love Up a Road Slowly, but no one has checked it out since 1997. Not only that, but the back cover is barely attached. It just looks sad. I tried to get children to check them out, but the only luck I had was with Alias Madame Doubtfire and the saddest copy of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang you have ever seen. I only got someone to check that out because I told them the book was older than I am!
If only for hygienic reasons, these books need to go. But it's hard. It's like ripping little bits off of my soul. I can weed nonfiction fairly easily, but fiction requires the help of understanding volunteers to hold my hand... after they have ripped books from it. It helps if they then hand me a tissue.
Do I need to get out more, or is this a fairly common reaction to weeding?