Collection Bashing & Trashing | Michael Stephens - Office Hours | The Information Professional |

"A few months ago in “Holding Us Back” (LJ 4/15/13, p. 42), I suggested that one of the things preventing librarians from working at web scale might be “a lingering emphasis on collections over users.” I and others have argued that the evolution of libraries and library service will include a pronounced shift from libraries as book warehouses to libraries as centers for discovery, learning, and creation via any number of platforms.

I might have been guilty of a bit of collection bashing in these discussions, and recent occurrences of collection trashing have given me pause. I still see the path forward detailed above as viable and inevitable, but we must also not forget that stewardship must not be sacrificed for a 3-D printer or a wall of monitors highlighting a digital collection.


I followed with great interest the weeding kerfuffle now known as #bookgate at the Urbana Free Library(UFL) in Illinois. Tweets, news stories, and Facebook shares painted a grim picture of a weeding project gone horribly wrong. In a nutshell: books more than ten years old were removed from the nonfiction collection without reference to any other criteria..."