Things Left Behind*

One of my librarian responsibilities is collection management; in library speak, this is often called “weeding.” What is weeding, you ask? It’s continually evaluating the existing collections for materials that are (among other things): out of date, damaged, and/or containing material unnecessarily duplicated elsewhere in the collection. It’s also a great way to fill gaps of information in the collection.

This means going shelf by shelf, book by book, and looking at every single one. It’s an ongoing process that never ends because, once all collections have been analyzed–a process that can take a year or more depending on size–it’s time to start all over again to keep the collections fresh, organized, and relevant.

I have come across books that are not in the online catalog, that belong to other libraries, or–and this is the fun part–that contain little treasures from days gone by.

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*A big thank you to awesome blogger, Amy, for assistance (and inspiration!) with this post.


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7 responses to “Things Left Behind*

  1. L’ha ribloggato su avarra1963e ha commentato:
    You know what ? This is the job of my dreams: living forever surrounded by books…. I bought few months ago an old book (1941 edition) for my brother (“The life of Saint Michael” – name of my brother) and, as described in this post, I discovered within its pages some very old postcards sent during 1960-61, during some summer vacation…. It was like to have a look into someone’s life, in some way it was curious or strange, don’t you think ?

  2. love this post! We travel all over Europe (we’re stationed in Germany) & we purposely look for personal books & diaries – bonus if there are scraps of someone’s life tucked in them as well!

  3. Katherine C. Mead-Brewer

    Thank you for posting this! Archival work has always sounded like a nightmare to me when I think about its particulars but I do love the *idea* of it because it has a way of evoking a certain sense of wonder, of treasure hunting, doesn’t it? I wonder, did you ever feel like you were digging for buried pirate loot that was just waiting to be uncovered and shared for the world to see?

  4. Finding things left behind is much like stumbling upon a tiny time capsule. Almost makes me want to purposely leave some things behind in some obscure books.

  5. lizzy

    We have a small collection on our dept bulletin board!

  6. Thanks for reading, everyone!

  7. kellyakin

    Weeding is a tough job for a book lover! It’s like letting go of a friendship, always questioning why the book didn’t get checked out, wondering if you put it front and center, could you change the fate of that poor book?? My only consolation is that it makes space for all the new books I will eventually want to read! (Working in the library has the perk of being one of the first to check something out!).

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