With the beginning of June comes the end of my senior year, and the end of my second weeding project! Back in the fall, I weeded the reference section, but this spring, I ended up weeding the non-fiction section. You might be thinking that they’re similar books, so weeding a second time wouldn’t be as hard, right?
Weeding the non-fiction section turned out to be much more difficult and time-consuming than the reference section. In the reference section, I started my weeding with the knowledge that many of the books were out-of-date, or that the information was now covered in our school’s online databases. But with the non-fiction section, I had no clue which books were frequently used by teachers, no way to judge the value of one book’s information from another.
I still used the same criteria for evaluating the books; was the book out-of-date? Was the cover and condition of the book not as nice or new? Was the information in the book better portrayed in a different title? Was the book a duplicate copy? However, even after going through all these questions, I would be at a stalemate with many of the books.
Eventually it came down to intuition. My previous project with the reference section helped significantly, because it gave me an outline for the kind of information we already had in our library, as well as some of the areas in which we were lacking. And going through the shelves, I needed to think complexly about the book as a whole, and whether or not the book would and could be used later on by a student or teacher.
I don’t have any pictures, but I weeded many more books from the non-fiction section than I did with the reference section. I was able to help Marjie and Lisa get rid of a lot of unnecessary and out-of-date titles, as well as develop my ability to judge a book by its usefulness. It was a long and sometimes grueling job (no offense, Lisa!), but I am grateful for the chance to build my skills in this area.
The end of the year is creeping in, but stay tuned for my work with our school’s Summer Reading program!