Friday, September 26, 2014

Why do we call it weeding?

Now that the autumn rains are here, and I can start uprooting some of the unwelcome guests that have survived the hot, dry weather in my yard, I'm contemplating on the difference between weeding in the garden and weeding in the library.

When I'm weeding in my garden, I'm pulling up things that planted themselves.  They're definitely not something I ever put there.  Granted, I do quite a bit of thinning, like the inside-out flower that's muscling in on the sweet woodruff.  I even sometimes completely eradicate something (or at least try to), like the bronze fennel and lemon balm that produced a bazillion seedlings every spring because I'd let them go to seed the previous fall.  But I had actually planted these thing.

When we talk about weeding in the library, we're getting rid of things that we did, in fact, plant in our collections.  It would be more appropriate, in my opinion, to call it thinning.  If we really mean weeding, we mean things that we didn't put in the collection in the first place - kind of like if a bunch of Captain Underpants books was sprouting in the Federal Documents Collection.

I doubt that the library world will make this change, but I can at least contemplate it while I venture into my newly-damp garden, weeding stick in hand, and start going after things I really didn't plant.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sewing at the library

Here's another interesting idea of something "different" to add to a library collection - sewing machines!

There are open sewing hours at the Mountain View Public Library in California every Saturday and they've been getting more and more popular.  I like that the machines are all named Grace.

What kind of help do you think the staff provide?  I know we're expected to help patron's to a certain extent on the computers at my library, but I'm not sure everyone would be comfortable trouble-shooting a sewing machine or serger.

Does your library have any interesting things in their collection and do you help with maintenance or trouble-shooting?