Thursday, April 05, 2007

If I ran the library

After four months, I'm feeling like the honeymoon is over. Well, not completely, but there are more and more of those moments where I feel like shaking my head.

I know I'm nervous about my review tomorrow. I'm definitely nervous that the election is 12 days away. I'm nervous about how the staff will react if the library building referendum fails again. And it might, though I hope it doesn't. But that leads me to the title of this post. If my library's building referendum fails, here's what I would do:

Eliminate what I consider to be obsolete media formats. Yes, we still have children's music on audio cassettes, we still have filmstrips. It's time to nail the coffin on these formats.

Eliminate print college catalogs and the travel file. People are right -- it is all online now.

VHS collection: Hard and fast rule - no duplication of any kind. If we own 2 copies of a VHS title, one goes. Then no duplication between DVD and VHS. If we own a title in both formats, the VHS one gets the axe. In addition, if a title hasn't circulated in one year, it gets the axe, no questions asked. And if the last "patron" was ILL, it doesn't count.

DVD collection: More copies of the big feature movies.

Books on cassette: Same rules as VHS collection.

Kits: We've got hundreds of these horribly packaged "kits". About half are in hang up bags and a fourth are in some kind of single box, and the rest are a mishmash of things rubber banded together. Rule #1 - if you have to rubber band it to keep it together, either you find appropriate packaging to circulate everything together or you pitch it.

CD-ROMS: We've got lots and lots of these. Does anyone really use them anymore?

Puppets: It's beyond me why in this day and age anyone would want to circulate a puppet that is just asking to be a carrier of contagion. Yes! I'd love to give my baby a toy that another baby has spit up on. Get real.

Puzzles: I actually don't have a problem with puzzles, but please, weed out the old crap. Keep the collection looking fresh and new.

Book collection: Since we're so tight on space, you've got to be cruel to be kind. People don't just love bookstores for the coffee, they like new stuff. Ergo, if it hasn't circ'ed in two years, it's outta here. What?!? I know, it's blasphemy, right? What the hell do I know about collection development? Well, I know that when I use my public library and I see grubby, damaged books on the shelves, I'm not going to touch them. Give the people nice looking items.

Well, that's what I would do with the collection at least. More ideas to follow. Stay tuned! Or not!

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