I have been weeding the non-fiction collection, using a computer program that can generate a report of books that have not gone out recently. When we used to go to the shelves to weed the worn out, dirty out-of-date books, I enjoyed it. But now I keep finding books that I think would be so useful if someone just knew they were here! For example, one of the biographies on my weeding list is about a navy seaman’s experiences in WWII. The Title is A Sailors’ Journey into War by Robert A. Maher. It looked like a brand new book and wasn’t very old, as the author was remembering his past. I brought it home to my husband who had been on a destroyer in the navy (not in WWII – we’re old but not THAT old) and he read and loved it. He brought it to our daughter’s neighbor who was also in the navy and said it was the best book he ever read; really described what it was like to be on a destroyer in a hurricane. Do I weed it from the collection because it is not being checked out? How do I get these books into the hands of people who would enjoy them? How do I get people to come to the library and browse among the stacks, to find just that book that speaks to them? Or get them to ask a librarian for suggestions as to what they would like to read about? It’s called Reader’s Advisory and one of the most fun parts of our job. I would have thought books such as Everything you need to know about birth control or Understanding Weight Loss Programs would be helpful to many people but they don’t go out. Do they get used in the library? I don’t know. If you have any ideas, let me know.
Phyllis Rogan, Reference Librarian
Chemung County Library District