Apr 19, 2013

"Be Ruthless in Weeding Juvenile Fiction"

Re-reading the CREWing Children's Materials really got me geared up to seriously look at my Juvenile Fiction Collection.

There are about 1500 books in our Juvenile Fiction section. I ran a list of books that had only been checked out 1 or less times in the past 2.5 years (which is as far back as our data goes because of a system update).

I ended up with a list of 454 books (28% of the collection). I used the CREW method as a base for weeding this section and the first sentence was, "Be ruthless in weeding juvenile fiction."

I tried to be ruthless, I really did. I weeded 138 books, which ended up at about 30% of the books on the list. My only relief from getting rid of that many books is the hope I have that somebody will buy them at the Friends' book sale this summer and take them home to read them!

Newbery Medal Winners and Honor Books were hard for me to weed. The CREW method recommends getting rid of roughly worn award books and award books that there is no demand for in the juvenile fiction section. "Unless your library serves a school of education or a library school, there may be little or no demand for decades-old award winners." Although we have nice new copies of Newberys that are only three years old, I got rid of the all of the ones that had been checked out ZERO times on the list. Most of them were from before 1990, if not 1970.

Little House Knock-Offs and other 19th century books that show little respect for American Indians. . . I got rid of many of them. . . good bye Sarah Noble (zero circs), good bye Orphan Train Quartet, and The Days of Laura Ingalls Wilder series (1 circs each).Some of them were hard to let go... I will ponder the infatuation with those books at a later date.

Multicultural books were the hardest for me to weed. I live in holy-white-bread Northern Wisconsin. In my Multicultural lit class, one of the most important things that I learned was that kids like to read books about kids like themselves. I bet you can guess how often multicultural books go out around these parts and how many of them were on the list. Thankfully some of the teachers require the kiddos to read multicultural books for assignments and many of them have gone out, but Buddy Not Buddy and Elijah of Buxton?? Oh no, those two are staying. I did get rid of several with bad covers or spines and some with brand new shiny spines that were four years old and had never been opened.

I Can't Believe This is a Real Book Cover! There were a few books with the most horrible covers. I've heard two different teenage girls talking about how they would not read a book with a weird cover in the past week. Some of the books with covers that looked way old had to go. There were a lot of classics in this group. I have a pile over a foot high on my desk that I'll need to find newer editions for to make them look like they didn't come out of the last century.

Yeah, weeding sucks, but my shelves are less crowded, look better and there's room for new books!

Thank you CREW method!

Crew: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries.https://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ld/pubs/crew/index.html Texas State Library and Archives Commission

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