The Divorce Mediation Handbook
Divorce mediation is a great topic for library collections and can be a cheaper alternative to traditional divorce. However, it isn’t right for everyone, especially when there are complex issues or unequal power dynamics. In 1997, this would have been a great choice for a public library collection. In 2022, the topic still has merit, but it is essential that this material is up to date.
I would like to also say that this could qualify as an easy weed. Topics in the legal and medical areas are easy weeds just based on date alone. If the book purports to give advice to the reader for a current medical condition or current legal situation, the publication date automatically throws that material into question. I have often discussed this issue with people when they argue that “most” of the book is still relevant. I think that argument might have more standing with topics that are less time sensitive.
Non-public libraries should look to their collection objectives and/or mission. Clearly this book’s intended audience is the general public. It is not for professional practitioners. It may or may not fit with some retrospective research objectives, but for the most part, it is NOT for current use. Compare the title about the value of a housewife in divorce, where the author was the actual change agent in a significant area of the law. Even though both of the books are out of date with respect to divorce laws, and are not appropriate for a public library collection, the “housewife value” book has more significance in a research context. For special and research collections, impact and context of certain materials should be part of your weeding criteria.
Holly and I are currently working on the third edition of our book (provided we don’t kill each other before it’s done), so this kind of stuff is sitting in my brain marinating. Bottom line: if you want to be efficient with your weeding time, develop some quick criteria for your collection that can automate your obvious weeds quickly.