Librarians clear unpopular books

07/22/2010

Marin County librarians have been quietly told to cull tens of thousands of overlooked books to make way for more popular titles. Books that have not been checked out in two years have been shortlisted for removal from circulation. The new data-driven policy has upset many librarians and Marin residents. “[The policy] is an insult to the support we have given that system, first by passing a special tax for West Marin some years ago and then again for passing another funding measure in June for the libraries,” wrote Tomales Bay Library Association member Phillip Fradkin, who says that a philosophy based on marketability is detrimental to the library system. “That means a policy based on popularity, not lasting quality, relevance or thought.” The neglected books will be sent to wholesaler B-Logistics in Denver, which will pay for shipping costs and give libraries a portion of the sale proceeds.