I spent the majority of today assessing books. This consisted of looking at pulling every book off the shelf, in order, with a spreadsheet of borrowing statistics next to me, making the call to keep or cull. Some sections haven’t been assessed in a long time: some books are falling apart they have been so well used, others haven’t been touched (according to our statistics and the amount of dust) in over a decade.

The collection is made up of non-fiction teachers resources, for trainee teachers to take on placement or use for planning classes (not for research purposes).

I was removing almost half of the books, some of the New Zealand content is heading to storage but the majority is being offered to students (it’s amazing how no one will want to borrow a book in 20 years but as soon as it’s being given away “for keeps” it becomes desirable) or being recycled. It seems like a huge waste, but to be honest I would remove more if I wasn’t worried there would be nothing left on the shelf!

My takeaway from today is how important a book titles are. A book that describes itself accurately is a book well-used. Clever titles, no matter how good the content, don’t get found. Obviously people judge books by their covers, but well before that, they find a book in the catalogue if it matches their search terms.

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