Maybe it is the heat or just that I am overworked. Lately, I have been a bit disappointed in some of our fellow librarians. Awful Library Books ran a few books lately that seem to get some hackles up about censorship. Weeding or de-selection, of course, invites this conversation. I am always amazed at how some people take a posting on ALB to be the standard for quality in librarianship. Developing a library collection is a minefield of issues that vary from community to community. But here are some truths that are always in play regardless of the kind and size of library.
No one has unlimited budget.
Of course we make choices in a collection. That is what librarians are hired to do. I will buy this book over another choice because I have to make the best use of my money and get maximum value. I want every choice in my collection to be relevant to my users.
No one has unlimited space.
Even new buildings and expansions are ultimately finite. Lately, my new job has made this even more apparent for me. Where I used to have room to wiggle, now I have to take selection very seriously. I have such limited space that have an item take up shelf space and do nothing for the patrons is supreme waste of money and time.
An archive is not the same thing as a public library.
Of course many public libraries participate in the preservation process, it is not the sole objective. A well-used public library will have material wear out or become obsolete after awhile. This material will need to be upgraded, replaced or even weeded if it no longer is doing the job that was intended.
Anyway, remember that the purpose of Awful Library Books is to start talking about quality in collections. In no way can one librarian's decision to weed something out of a particular library be a standard for every collection. That is the serious part of ALB. The other part is that sometimes Holly and I want a laugh and crack up at changing times, mores, styles etc.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. So, everyone needs to just relax and have a chuckle.