Wednesday, March 01, 2006

We had these in the Reference section?!

One of the big projects I am working on at my library is weeding the Reference Collection, something that hasn't been done in a long time, if ever. My coworker, who was the Reference Librarian before me, had started weeding, and I am continuing the project with his help. He has the almighty delete power (i.e. his password works), and I'd really prefer to get two opinions before deleting some of this stuff, anyway.

The process goes like this:
  1. I look at the books, and write up a little sheet on why they should or should not be deleted (these sheets can get rather amusing, based on my level of exasperation at the time).
  2. Coworker looks over the books and reads the sheets. He either deletes or keeps them.
Overall, we agree on the vast majority of books.

Anyway, all that is to preface the fact that we have some very amusing books in our Reference Collection:
  1. Books in Russian - we don't have a Russian program.
  2. A book professing to be "a guide to new ideas that might well save us from the old ideas"... from 1973!
  3. A book about safety equipment from 1968 (some of that stuff cannot be safe anymore!)
  4. A book about flowers that bloom on the roadsides of the Northern U.S. states in July and August. Can you get any more specific than that?! Only July and August? Only on the roadside? That is not a Reference book!
Some of my comments on the books have been:
  1. 33 years out of date - not exactly useful in a directory
  2. And the point of this would be.....?
  3. I'm sure internal medicine has changed a lot since '58.
  4. This is the 2nd edition, we have the 3rd edition in the regular stacks!
  5. I think they had money to burn in the 60's.
  6. Who would use this?
  7. Most obnoxious resource yet! (The title given in the catalog could not be found anywhere on the books - only on the gift letter that was still inside one of them. And I'm still not really sure what the purpose of that many-volume set was).
I think the above clearly demonstrates the need to weed the Reference Collection. Now if only I had more time to do it! And, I am still only a fraction of the way through the project, so who knows what other highly amusing books I will find.

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