Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Pause for Somber Contemplation

The Weeding Season has begun. Heavily laden carts make their way back into the Technical Services area, bearing their cargo of condemned books.

It's like harvest season for us back here, if you assume that what's harvested is "lots of work." Which is ever the case.

For the removal from the shelf is only the first step in this hallowed process. Now the titles must be removed from the catalog, and from our WorldCat holdings, and only then can the books finally be laid to rest in the recycling bins and go on to that sweet afterlife of whatever happens to recycled paper.

It really makes you think. About how long it's been since our collection was weeded, and therefore how very many books are no longer needed.

Also about the opposite of data entry, which I suppose would be data removal.

These things shall cease to exist for us. Nevermore darken my OPAC search results, outdated oral surgery textbook!

We put books into the catalog. We take them out of the catalog. We see them when they are shiny and brand new, with all their pages clean and their binding sound, and we see them when they are feeble, frail, and barely held together with disintegrating tape.

We are both midwife and undertaker to the books.

That's why Tech Services is awesome.


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