In theory and practice it is understood that a robust collection management philosophy must at times include weeding of the collection. This action, the discarding of materials no longer fit for a library’s holdings, is often met with resistance from library patrons. Librarians themselves may feel uncomfortable with discarding materials, even though they understand the necessity of weeding, leading many libraries to disguise their actions. Indeed, libraries may find themselves at times gifted with large volumes of discarded books “rescued” by well-meaning patrons. This reluctance to throw books away stems from a deeply embedded cultural meme to regard books as sacred objects. All three Abrahamic faiths regard books as the literal Word of God. This reverence for certain texts carries over to all books, a fact which influences librarians and patrons unconsciously and creates this clash between the well-reasoned act of discarding useless material and the visceral feeling of “wrongness” that comes from throwing books away.
|Keywords:||Libraries, Collection Management, Religious Texts, Weeding|
Assistant Professor/Undergraduate and Community Services Librarian, Undergraduate and Community Services Department, K-State Libraries, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA
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