Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Weeding, Weeding, and More Weeding

I've been staring at my nonfiction shelves for a while now.  They just seem so overcrowded with no room to grow.  I know that in the future I will be buying more nonfiction to support the Common Core.  I had no room on the shelves to put anymore.  I read Travis Jonker's blog post The Tebow Problem: The Hot and Cold Nature of the Biography Section and it really made me reflect on my nonfiction section.

Last Friday I was showing the students the Scholastic Book Fair DVD and was standing my one of my nonfiction shelves.  I was looking for a good poetry book for a teacher to share.  The poetry shelves were packed from one side to the other with no room for any movement.  I felt very overwhelmed trying to located a cool poetry book as the teacher.  I can only imagine how it feels as a student trying to explore that section.  So I started to weed!

I first went by those books that were so well loved that they were falling apart.  There were quite a few of these.  Then I printed a report and looked at total circulations, which was a HUGE eye-opener!  Many books that I would have thought had a high circulation didn't and others that I wouldn't expect to be circulating a lot were going out more than I thought.

I finished the 800's last week and I moved onto the 900's today.  I had done a good weeding of the beginning of the 900's a few years ago.  This was after I discovered a few atlas books that still had the USSR in it.  So I just had to move a few books on the shelves.  Then I started on the biographies!  This was another section that was packed.  It pained me to weed through this section, but there was no room to grow and the kids stay far away from this section.  I had to be very strict with myself, many of the books hadn't been checked out in over ten years.  I also found books of sports stars who, in the books were just beginning their careers.  And now many of the are retiring or have been retired for years.  In fact, I found four biographies on Cal Ripken Jr.  Three out of the four biographies still had him playing baseball and he has been retired since 2001.  

I didn't find any really interesting biographies like I found a few years ago.  When I was getting to know my collection after I first got to my school, I found a biography of Morris the Cat.  I hope that many of you know who Morris the Cat was because most of my staff didn't know.  This made me feel SO SO old!  If you don't know Morris the Cat was the spokescat for the cat food 9Lives.  Below is a commercial that he was featured in.

Like I said before, it pains me to weed through these books.  But it is something that has to be done.  If students need information about a specific person that we don't have a book on anymore, I have many different databases available.

Any words of advise, ideas, or commiseration about weeding? 

Happy Reading (or Weeding)!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)


  1. I too hate to "weed". I'm starting my inventory next week and will try to weed as I am scanning. My fiction section is packed. I have to decide what to do with the Nancy Drew books that no one is reading anymore. I learned to love books with that series. Maybe I can take them home. Heartbreaker:(

  2. I can't believe that I have any dusty old books left, but I do. Hopefully soon I'll be weeding things more because they are worn out rather than old and unused.

  3. Non-fic is not as hard for me to weed as fiction. For exactly the reason above ... I loved Nancy Drew. Why don't girls love her as much any more?
    Cause there are other options, that's why!
    I'm freaking people out with the weeding this year. Didn't get any done last year so there's catch up involved. Plus some rearranging and making it so the shelves aren't so jam packed.
    In the end it's good. It's just super gross and dirty and dusty until then!