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?
Submitter: This is basically just a hostel directory, but it’s horribly out of date. The website on the cover (which is also plastered on about every page) does not exist anymore. We are a public library and the last time it circulated was 2004.
Holly: What a weird cover! I don’t get it. Is that the Eiffel Tower on the person’s head? The title doesn’t mention Europe. And what are those black things by the feet? And the colored mask on the face? And what does “IBN” stand for on the computer screen?
Submitter: This was donated to our library, but won’t be added to the collection. Besides the fact that it is 20 years out of date, I am stuck on what the point of this book is – Are bed and breakfasts such hotbeds of sin and scandal that Christians need to be careful which ones they patronize? It isn’t even just supporting Christian small business owners – the introduction says that not all of these establishments are owned and operated by Christians, but they have expressed a desire to welcome Christian travelers. Are there many bed and breakfasts that actively try to avoid Christians? I can’t recall being asked my religious preference when I’ve booked a room before.
Holly: Are there bed and breakfast directories for other faiths? I did a series of searches on WorldCat for “Jewish Bed & Breakfast” and “Muslim Bed & Breakfast and came up empty. This one, however, has all kinds of editions lurking in library collections (though to be fair, it lists my own library, and I don’t see a holding for any edition of this title in our local catalog). It’s kind of a no-brainer for weeding based on its age, and a useless donation for most public libraries, too.