The Franklin Square Public Library has begun an aggressive weeding process to replace its aging books with newer content, Interim Director Aviva Kane said at a library board meeting on Oct. 22.
She explained that roughly 16 percent of the books have not been circulated in 20 to 25 years — including a VCR repair guide. The Nassau County Library System, however, uses the number of items in a library’s collection to determine its share of the cost, even if the items are not circulating. Currently, Kane said, the library system is pricing each book at a little more than 13 cents, and the library is currently paying $37,000 for its collection.
So, she said, she would rather pay for books that are being used. “You want to have a lean, mean collection for your patrons,” Kane told the Herald.
She said she follows the American Library Association’s Maintenance and Weeding guidelines, which state that libraries can withdraw items from its collection based on publishing date, frequency of circulation, community interest and availability of newer materials. “Fiction that was once popular but no longer in demand, and non-fiction books that are no longer useful” can also be withdrawn, according to the guidelines.
At the same time, Board President Bill Youngfert said, the library continues to buy new books, and donates the withdrawn books to the Friends of the Library for book sales, which benefit the library financially. Youngfert also noted that the board reached out to local organizations that collect old books, but have not yet received a response. He suggested that anyone with recommendations of organizations to donate books to get in contact with the Franklin Square Library board of trustees.