January 20, 2022

South Carolina: Library to Discard 50,000 Books

From The Post and Courier:

The Charleston County Public Library is in the midst of its first major spring cleaning in 15 years, and officials say roughly 50,000 books are coming off the shelves. That’s between 2 percent and 3 percent of the 1.5 million volume collection.

Library officials say most of these volumes are damaged books, outdated histories or multiple copies of books that have waned in popularity.

Some of them are simply volumes that no one has checked out in years — such as “Resumes in Cyberspace,” which sounds like something helpful these days considering the economy. Until you figure out “Resumes in Cyberspace” was published in 1997.

“If they had done it as a spring cleaning every year, no one would notice,” said Douglas Henderson, executive director. “We’re not getting rid of anything of archival value.”


Rodger Smith, collections development manager at Charleston County Public Library, said libraries are no longer book warehouses.

He said a team of librarians evaluates books by several criteria to reshape the collection.

“You look at circulation, and if it hasn’t been used,” Smith said. “This hasn’t been done in a long time. We were concerned with filling up the shelves when we moved in here 12 years ago.”

Read the Complete Article

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.