The Art of Weeding…Paperbacks

weed verb

1 a : to clear of weeds <weed a garden>

   b (1) : to free from something hurtful or offensive (2) : to remove the less desirable portions

2 : to get rid of (something harmful or superfluous) —often used with out

For the past month, I’ve been working on weeding the juvenile paperback section of the library. Just like when I was weeding the paperbacks at my internship library last year, weeding the paperback  collection here is determined mostly by physical condition. Is the cover torn or bent in several areas? Are pages falling out or yellowed? Are there stains, crayon or pen scribblings, or other unsightly blemishes? Is the spine cracked? Books that are worn out or dirty are just plain unattractive and unlikely to be checked out by library users.

When I was weeding romance paperbacks over at my internship site, I also considered date of publication. Romances are a highly circulating category, with a quick read through, and plenty of new ones always on the way. So publication date was just another criteria to use to make more room for new items.

Just like weeding is an essential task to make a garden more attractive and enjoyable, so is weeding paperbacks – or any other format for that matter – essential for a more appealing and relevant collection that will bring users back to the library over and over again. And as a new employee, I also found weeding a terrific way to get to know the paperback collection.