Like a garden, a library needs to be weeded. The great books need to flourish and the ones that have not managed to draw an audience need to go. Before digging into the task, we established some ground rules:
- If the book was older than me, it was gone.
- If the book smelled funny, it was gone.
- If the book was filled with information that could easily be found by pulling your phone out of you pocket and saying, "Hey Google," it was gone.
- If it was a coffee table book filled with images, it had a very small chance of surviving the cut. If people want to see pictures, they search images on their phones or computers.
So far, we have worked through the 500s, 600s, 700s, and 900s and the effect is striking. The books that remain on the shelf are exposed to the roaming eyes of patrons who are browsing for new books. Because we let the sun shine in on a marvellous collection of narrative nonfiction, students are already finding more books that they want to read