Letter: Erasing Our Culture

Letter: Erasing Our Culture

To the Editor

To the Editor: Yesterday one of the librarians got the list of books she is expected to pull from shelves she looks after. The books are on the "dead" list. That's what they used to call low active or low demand. I don't know what the time frame is to be considered dead: 24 months? 36 months? There are 350-400 books on that particular dead list. They are all in the literature category.

I am told the dead books will be packed up in boxes of a certain size and listed on the "swap spot" on the computer. No individual titles, just a general category. Boxes of dead books not requested in 10 days by another branch will be discarded.

That's part of the new discard and transfer policy that has just kicked in. There is also a "grubby" list and those are books that were checked out 50 times. The librarians are to check them on the shelves and if they are good enough to remain on the shelves, the circ manager gets the list and has to go into the Collection HQ program and move the grubby date back for each book so they won't come up again next month. If they are worn, they must be thrown out.

These reports were sent out for every single category in the FCPL system, to every single library.

Will we see massive book dumping on the scale of October-December 2012 when 100,000 books were dumped (to the dumpster) in five to six weeks right after the 2012 Library Strategic Plan was approved? No way to check because Library Administration will not release the Collection Overview documents.

I hear that everybody at my friend's branch is busy pulling books today. Not wanting to be fired.

Low demand status should be something the Library Board decides. It's a policy decision. I wonder if you agree.

How many books do you expect we will lose this time around? And why?

Kathy Kaplan