I was at work yesterday putting some board books in the book sale. I have been weeding the Children's collection... I started with the picture books, then the non fiction and I got rid of so many books. I was amazed at the titles that stayed, but more so, the titles that left.
First, what I noticed yesterday at work. Under the table, in a box, hidden away was a book I have a clear memory reading: Anastasia's Chosen Career. I got this little smile on my face when I saw the book, and I remember wanting to be a bookstore owner just like Anastasia, I remember finding the book at the library, and other authors on the shelf because I found Lois Lowry. There was a simplicity to my life then, reading, maybe some television now and then, playing outside and with friends. My world was small. I look at the kids now and wonder if their world is too big now. They have access to anything on the internet, and they find it with automatic spell correct. I wish I could share the dreams I found in books with them, but what if they are still small?
Second thing I noticed is about the titles that left. My library is situated in an African American neighborhood, so we try and fill the collections written by African American authors or for the population. While weeding the picture book collection I found that those were the books with the lowest amount of circulation. Some, I understood. They were old, the pictures were outdated, and well, some of the illustrations were just, bad. How many oil painting children's books can there be!?!? But on the other hand, it made me sad, because these are the books they thought they wanted. Ooops, librarian failure #1. Lesson learned: ask more, assume less.