The Joys of Shelf Reading
One of our annual events each year is the shelf reading blitz that happens after summer reading is over and before school starts. Librarians take this task in stride and rush to claim their own subject areas to put into order prior to moving on to other collections. Not only do we put the materials in correct Dewey order, but many of us take this opportunity to weed our area as well. Since I purchase materials in the 004 – 006 area of computers, my books and DVDs tend to need frequent updating and discarding. Last week I finally got rid of my Windows 95 and 98 books as well as the DOS books. Wouldn’t you know it – – the minute I weed these items, we have requests for them!! That DOS for Dummies book hadn’t circulated in several years. Now I was forced to interloan it thought Michigan eLibrary. If I had waited to shelf read just one more week, we would have had this book in stock.
Thankfully, another area of my collection duties is genealogy & local history. Since many of these books deal with historic topics, they tend not to go out of date. I’m familiar with my dedicated genealogy patrons and know better than to discard their cherished favorite books! Other than slipping thin volumes of local cemetery records back into order, my patrons keep close watch on the order of the books they use for their research.
It’s a joy to have such diverse collections, including my new favorite – the video games for adults. There is no shelf reading there since 90% of them are constantly out in circulation. My six Nintendo DS game systems have never remained on the shelf for more than an hour at a time, so this is a mute point.
Summer is ending and my shelf reading / weeding is done. Now we anxiously await the happy pitter-patter of middle schoolers’ gym shoes and cell phone ringtones and will know that another school year has started. This is our last week of peace and quiet for many months to come!