School sorry for trashing library books

A Short One out of Canada quotes a 16-year-old student, who first noticed the books when he saw cart loads of them being trundled through the halls of the schoo, as saying:

"The cranky librarian ... said the only way to get new books is to show that they have a crappy library, and to do that they have to get rid of books,"

Principal Don Blackwell said only redundant and politically incorrect books were supposed to have been pitched. "Clearly, we made a mistake ...," he said.


Interesting, and several "lessons" well illustrated. Firstly, sounds like the principal had no idea about the principles of collection maintainance (and was probably negligent in the area of budgetary support) which is common in school libraries.

Secondly, it is likely the whining student hadn't actually been in the library to witness first-hand the "quality" of the collection; and thirdly, make sure your weeding policy clearly states the criteria for deselection.

Finally, of course - there's the matter of the "grumpy" librarian"... who wouldn't be somewhat narky in a worksite where a patron whine carries more weight than a professional judgement call; an administration that wouldn't know proactivity if it bit him on the foot; and a tragic collection badly in need of an upgrade?

Biblia, the Warrior Librarian

I have trouble weeding as well. Although, I have never encountered this. I put the books back in the AV room, box them, then call Salvation Army to come get them. Why do I use Salvation? Because I know if I used the school dumpsters, I would probably get flack - at least from the teachers. I already had two or three who somehow found out I was getting rid of stuff (I think my assistant said something) and came into the AV room to "rescue" the books. It ended up being pretty funny because the major "rescuer" was the art teacher who wanted to use the books for cut ups! The other teachers took maybe five a piece. Anyway, I plan to sneak in this summer and REALLY chunk.

As the sixteen year old in question, I find it interesting that you'd be as rash as to label me a whiner. As for your unfair assumption that I had not witnessed the library first-hand, allow me to politely correct you. I would point out that I am a very literate individual, and have spent countless hours in libraries across our fair province, including the library at my own school. I have been reading Tolstoy since I was twelve. In other words, I consider it belittling of you to use a public post to slander others.

Also on the topic of degrading libraries, I find it interesting that you'd not criticize the actions taken by the librarian, but rather suggest that money be thrown at the problem.
If indeed librarians have a set, well documented method of de-selection, why would our librarian not adhere to these guidelines? Surely you wouldn't suggest that it's the administration's job to supervise librarians to ensure that they do their jobs? Of course not. The fact that the books ended up where they did was a result of the librarian's decisions. She did not pursue other avenues of disposal.

I wasn't trying to cling desperately to books with no relevance, nor was I trying to get my name in the paper. I had no desire for my fifteen minutes of fame. Rather, I was trying to point out the wastefulness of the situation.

In summary, If you are a librarian, your job is to ensure that books are relevant, up-to-date, and in relatively presentable condition. If for some reason that you decide to empty some shelves, the books being disposed of should at least be offered to various members of the community, for at least some of them might be interested in an autographed book written by Grant Macwean. I would. At this point, you're pounding furiously at your keyboard, saying: "But there's a selection process!". I'm sure there is, but why wasn't it followed? Why were the books thrown away instead of being donated, or at least recycled? was it the administrations fault? Was it simply a lack of funding? No, it was a lazy librarian, who I have had the displeasure of meeting, so thereby I reserve the right to be as honest about her as possible. She is rather grumpy.