Weeding a Collection

Our very own Head of Library Services, Meriah Caswell, wrote a fascinating article in our local arts arts newspaper ‘The Humm”, called “Your Books, Your Library,Your Community”. It was all about how difficult ( and controversial) it can be to keep a library collection up to date and complete. While many people think of discarding books as the ultimate sin, it’s a necessary evil for libraries that can’t expand their buildings to keep everything. Meriah explains:



“Developing a library collection, is not all about finding the perfect book for its reader. There is a darker side to librarianship. The side we don’t like to talk about. The thing is, once a library has filled its shelves with all those wonderful books, soon those shelves cannot be packed any further. White pages begin to yellow, hot topics become yesterday’s news, and current information turns from dated to incorrect and, if kept long enough, to hilariously (or insultingly) outmoded (for examples of this, check out awfullibrarybooks.net).

People who have read the hottest title are loathe to read it again, and soon the book featuring a busty damsel with hot pants and a scrunchie on the cover has been sitting on the shelf for years without a reader. These books must be moved in order to make room for those that the community currently wants to read. The process of finding these books and separating them from the ones that are in demand has been euphemistically dubbed “weeding”, and is an important part of keeping a collection current and relevant to a community. Library staff will rely on a variety of methods to determine what should be pulled, with circulation statistics being the main indicator. Books that are “weeded” often find new life on the “for sale” table, and many libraries will donate their used items to charitable organizations.

At the Carleton Place Public Library, much of our weeded material is donated to Better World Books, who will match each online book sale with a donation of a book to someone in need.”


So, the next time you come to the library and look through our sale table, keep in mind that these books were once well loved, and will hopefully serve a new purpose to someone who might not have had a chance to read them yet.


Keeping Things Easy.

It’s a BIG transitional week for us here at the Carleton Place Public Library.  We welcomed our new librarian, Meriah, on Monday, and we’re all just trying to get in sync. It’s exciting, isn’t it? We think so, too. But we feel like the occasion needs a little bit of levity, too.  So, I came across this great list of “Pop Culture Librarian Links” over at Flavorwire. Which one is your favourite? (The domino-stacks scene in The Mummy always makes me cringe!)

monstersustillThe Librarian in Monsters University



Today, if you come to the library (and from now on, really), you’ll see a new face. We’d like to welcome our new librarian, Meriah Caswell, to the Carleton Place Public Library!


We’re all a little bit excited, a little nervous, and generally expecting some great new things for the library. Don’t worry, Janet is still here and she’ll be helping all of us with the transition as she prepares to leave for retirement in January. It’s a big change, but with the support of our wonderful patrons, we’ll do just fine! Please drop by and say hello!


One Week from Today…

RetirementWe’re almost ready for the big day….Janet’s Retirement Tea! One week from today, we’re inviting the public to come and say goodbye to our long cherished Head Librarian, Janet Baril.  Drop in anytime between 2 – 5pm for some cake and a chat. Janet would love to see you!

Don’t worry, if you can’t attend, she isn’t leaving until January. There should be plenty of opportunities to say goodbye. (But we won’t have cake!)

Join us for a Retirement Party!


Many of you already know that our Head Librarian, Janet Baril, is retiring in January. We’re going to be sad to see her go, but we’ve planned a drop-in at the library on Friday, November 1st, from 2 – 5pm to say goodbye. If you know Janet and would like to pop in that day to wish her all the best, please stop by for a special afternoon of cake, laughter and probably lots of tears. (Don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of Kleenex on hand.)

The Carleton Place Public Library has seen many wonderful changes under Janet’s guidance, and we like to think we’ve been especially lucky to have her as our librarian all these years. We hope she’ll make a point of dropping in from time to time to visit us, even though we’re sure her schedule will fill up quickly. (She’ll still need books, though!)

If you can’t make it, please feel free to drop her a line here, and we’ll make sure to pass it on.

Thank you, Janet, for all your support, hard work and insight. We’re going to miss you!

Do you have a little librarian?

We often have children come to the front desk, asking if they can wand out a book or stamp their own books to take home.  Several parents have even told us that their child plays librarian at home, selecting books for their toys and then reading them a story or signing out books.  So, if you have a little one that might be interested in being a librarian someday or just enjoys playing one now), here’s a Little Librarian kit that you can purchase online.

It comes with book pockets, library cards, bookmarks and overdue notices. Just add books for hours of fun!