Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Boston Public Library System Engaged in Systemic Weeding of Collections

Boston Globe: “At the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library, clustered volumes fill only half of many long, red shelves; the rest stand empty. In the adult nonfiction section, some shelves are completely barren. The library, in Roxbury, once brimmed with books. But officials have been steadily culling its collection the past few months as part of a push by BPL administrators to dispose of up to 180,000 little-used volumes from shelves and archives of branches citywide by year’s end. Library officials say the reductions help assure that patrons can comfortably sift through a modern selection that serves their needs. The Dudley branch stands to lose up to 40 percent of its inventory, according to an internal memo acquired by the Globe. The branches at Egleston Square and Uphams Corner could lose 30 and 28 percent of their collections, respectively. All but one of the city’s two dozen branch libraries will lose books, the exception being the newly opened East Boston library. Some patrons, as well as current and former library employees, find the exodus of books troubling. “You have students in the branches — high school students, junior high students — who are coming in to do reports. You’ve got to have a certain number of books, a certain number of hard-copy sources,” said Metro Voloshin, a former librarian at the Fields Corner branch who has served as curator of music for the library system. It cuts into the branches’ core mission, critics say, eroding a service that can’t be duplicated by digital media. Even books that have not been checked out recently can still serve an essential purpose to the community, they said.”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.