This seems like a good time to talk about weeds. They are everywhere, especially in my rock beds at home. However, in this case I'm not really talking about green stuff growing in the cracks of my driveway.
Weeding is a term in library language used to describe the process of discarding items that are no longer useful. That has become a challenge as we see declining numbers in the checkout of nonfiction. That's more library language for which a simple translation is true books or information books.
The biggest reason for checkout decline is, of course, the presence of the Internet. Until about 10 year ago, if someone needed to know how to get rid of bats or what to feed a beta fish, they came to the library and checked out a book on that subject. Now it's faster and easier to look it up on a computer.
Travel guides, cookbooks and craft manuals are examples of areas that have really been hard hit. We once stocked encyclopedias in several varieties. Almanacs were a staple of our reference collection. All have gone by the wayside as the Internet answers our questions.
It is time to make a very thorough sweep through the nonfiction section, take out what is no longer needed and make room for items that still have a good checkout. I am in the process of doing just that, hauling wagon loads down to the desk for the staff to withdraw. All are being placed on the $.10 book sale so it's a great time to stop in and take a look.
When I am finished going through all the nonfiction, we will do some shifting. Science fiction/fantasy will move to a larger space. Christian fiction and westerns will move forward to a place more easily accessed. There will most likely be some areas on the upper lever that will look a little messy for a few weeks, but we will have a more user friendly arrangement when we're finished.
Moving books is hard work and can be very time consuming when they need to be put back in a precise order. I should know. I have been doing it since age 16. I know I can't move piles of books all day anymore, and I'm sure there are some on my staff who feel the same way, so we will take our time. The plan is to have this all finished by the end of the summer.
The library will be closed Saturday, May 26 through Monday, May 28 during Memorial Day weekend. Summer hours will begin on Tuesday, May 29. During the summer the library closes at 5 pm instead of 8 pm on Wednesday and at noon instead of 2 pm on Saturdays.