Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Weeding, Changes Stir Debate at Central Library

"Book Weeding, Changes Stir Debate at Central Library." Boston News / Mark Sommer.
Boston: Boston News Online, January 21st 2011.

"Librarians say the Central Library is moving away from its commitment as a research library, hastily discarding thousands of books and degrading their professional roles within an increasingly demoralized workplace. ...
The cash-strapped Buffalo and Erie County Public Library system currently has a nearly $4 million budget gap that is being covered by a rainy day fund, reductions in hours and elimination of 36 1/2 full-time equivalent positions across four unions. That has affected 76 people, including 35 librarians, who have been laid off, seen a reduction in hours or changes to their job. ...
The removal of so many library books has become a flash point for some librarians.
Both librarians and administrators say libraries must weed their collections for books that are in bad shape, contain outdated material or are rarely checked out. The library maintains a “dusty book list” for books that have not circulated in five years.
But what has happened since October goes far beyond that, with thousands of books winding up in bins marked Metro Waste Paper Recovery (now owned by recycler Cascades Recovery), said a librarian who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal."