Hoarding is not collection development

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Branson travel guide

Branson travel guideBranson: The Official Travel and Souvenir Guide to America’s Music Show Capital
Simon
1995

Submitter: My family is planning a trip to Branson this fall and lo and behold my tiny public library has this gem in its collection. I should tell you that we are located nowhere near Branson Missouri. In fact we are three states away! We’ve been through quite a few Directors at the library since this was purchased so who knows what the thought process was for buying this. Was the Director thinking “I’m taking my family to Branson soon, I should order a book for the library!” That’s the only reason I can think of as to why this could possibly be ordered. […] surprisingly it seems that most of the attractions are still in business. I did enjoy the scan of local coupons. I bet those would come in handy when we go in the fall. Even when I was checking this out and told the person at the circulation desk how old it was he commented that I should try the inter-library loan system for something newer. From what I can tell this last circulated in 2013. Why?

Holly: Two things come to mind when I read this submission. First, travel books are good for about five years. You might squeeze ten years out of some of them. It was a reasonable choice for 1995, but could have been weeded by the turn of the century. Especially since it comes with coupons in the back that include expiration dates! (Actually, I happen to know that it wasn’t even a great choice for this particular library even back then. This is a teeny-tiny public library in a very rural community. They probably have one shelf of travel books, so they should concentrate those titles on the most-relevant places. Branson is popular…but probably not popular enough to that particular community to warrant taking up any of that precious shelf space.)

Second, would everyone please empower their Circulation Clerks to set materials aside for weeding consideration? If the patron didn’t actually want to check it out, the Clerk could have passed it directly to a librarian for reconsideration. If the patron did check it out, the Clerk could have jotted down the title and let the librarian know about it via email or a quick phone call to catch it upon its return. The transaction as described here sounds very passive. It was a great idea to suggest inter-library loan for something newer, but he didn’t seem to take it any further than a shrug and an offhand comment about ILL. As librarians, we desperately need the help of our Circulation co-workers! They see everything. Don’t you want some of that information passed your way?

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12 Responses to Branson travel guide

  • My parents have always been frequent travelers and love the local library’s weed sales so they can pick up travel books for places they’d like to visit in the next couple years. Great for window-shopping and for general area maps and tips, not great for restaurant recommendations & exact hours of attractions. Even they wouldn’t have picked up a 20-year-old book.

  • I don’t live anywhere near Missouri but I recognize Branson because the Duggars go there.

  • I will never forget weeding a 1999 NYC Fodors in 2005. My colleague argued with me that “nothing changes much, addresses are still the same, people can go online for updated phone numbers etc.”
    I looked at her, simply said, “World Trade Center,” and dropped it in the trash. Then again, she was one who didn’t believe libraries should have travel books in general, people should buy them themselves.

  • Some kid will get a hold of this and ask where all the websites, Facebook pages and Twitter handles are listed. Then Mom and Dad are going to have to sit him down for a serious talk…

  • I remember using turn of the last century Baedeker guides in Art History classes. They were held on reserve with the intention that the narratives in the walking tours would enhance our understanding of how the spaces were sensed or perceived.

  • “Dozens of photographs”–including one of a Kewpie Doll? Two words: Trip Advisor. Two more: Lonely Planet.

  • The book may well have been donated to the library (by a patron who didn’t clip the coupons). That doesn’t excuse its presence in the collection all these years later, of course.

    • Oh, Lord! You have to be surreptitious about weeding a donated book (insert cartoon tiptoe sound here)!

  • If anyone is interested in receiving a current Branson Visitor Guide that is actually updated 4 times a year, on-line & in print you can visit Branson.com Visitor Guide Request and get your very own copy.

  • Our library system tells us to weed any travel books over three years old because restaurants, motels, attractions, etc. go out of business. Something listed in 2013 may not be there in 2017–much less being listed in 1995!

  • I got a laugh out of the idea that movie theaters, etc, are somehow a liability at malls.