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All about the BHS library’s “book weeding”

Last month, a cart was put into the library stocked full of free books for students and staff to grab. This is part of the weeding process that has started in the BHS library. Weeding is an important process to free shelf space in order to make room for an updated book collection. Mrs. Gilcreast, who just won NH librarian of the year, shares her reasoning behind this process: “It’s my job to keep the collection fresh and used. So if the books are just sitting on the shelf and not being opened, then there’s no real purpose for them being on the shelves. And I say that because it doesn’t mean that they’re bad books. It just means that our population isn’t using them. I have to keep our collection usable for our curriculum.” Getting rid of unneeded and outdated books makes it easier for students to browse the shelves.  Mrs. Gilcreast explains: “I wanted to just thin it out -and the books that we do have, I wanted to be able to display them more, make the collection more usable and more visually appealing.”

The weeding process that can be summarized by the acronym MUSTIE. It stands for misleading, ugly, superseded, trivial, irrelevant, and elsewhere. A book is subjective for weeding if it’s factually inaccurate, damaged beyond mending, outdated, holds little significance, or finally if it’s easily obtainable elsewhere. Mrs. Gilcreast explains her step by step process to determine which books are given away: “So first when I’m weeding a collection, I put my hand on every single book. The first rule for weeding a book is if it looks outdated. If the book itself looks like an old edition, if it looks really outdated and cheesy, it’s got to go. If the book is not relevant to our curriculum, then it goes. Lastly, if the book has just never been checked out, if it’s been sitting on the shelf for ten years, it’s got to go.”

Maggie Lewis, a freshman at BHS voices her opinion on the book giveaways: “I love that they have some interesting options that I would probably not have noticed before. It’s a great idea to promote reading!”

All books that are weeded are free to take for the students and staff of BHS. The unclaimed books have since been given to the West High School Library, who has no budget for books, and The Book Cellar, a bookstore in Nashua.


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