Swipe Right Weeding

OK, here's one way I weed. Go Tinder.
Get a book cart and travel around (Fiction or NF) and look at the books.

Be surface.

Be superficial.

Be judgey. 

I make quick decisions. I don't agonize over it. I pull any books that are suspect, beat up, butt ugly, feature dated illustration, dated cover art, and just not attractive - I know, harsh. They're not people. SWIPE Left. Put them on the left side of cart shelf. Then, with titles I'm on the fence about, put them on the right side of the cart shelf - then go and check those books on PAC to see how many times they were really checked out & make the final decision.

I will re-read a blurb here and there and the first couple pages if I'm really on the fence. I'll be honest, I got rid of a LOT of historic fiction a couple years ago. They just weren't moving. It pained me to get rid of the American Girl series, once so popular & an easy read - but they just weren't moving. And now feel a little tone deaf if I 'm honest. Our shelf space is limited & valuable real estate.

A book has to EARN their way onto it.   

No reports needed just a keen judgey eye. 

If it's a good or popular book but just with an ugly cover, I will look in county PAC or Titlewave for a newer and better looking cover & add it to my shopping cart. I put a post it note on it or put it on the other side of the weeding cart (I don't weed it yet - a kid might request it) and then I won't swap it out to weed until I get the better looking replacement book. 

I guess you CAN judge a book by its cover. That’s precisely what the covers of books are for. Judging the book. I want kids to want and READ these books.

There.  My dirty little weeding secret.  Tinderize your weeding. Yeah, I went there. 

Weeding is a painful but necessary part to the job. It's sometimes AGONIZING! So, best to rip off the Band Aid and pull the book. Worse case scenario, if a kid is looking for a book you've weeded buy it again with the bonus you'll probably get a new cover and a stronger binding! Voila! 

What do you do to keep your collection fresh? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Collection Development: 

Weeding, of course, makes way for NEW books! Here's a peek at my 2021 Book List through Follett & Titlewave.  LOVE how you can analyze your book list with the Diversity filter!

And yeah, yeah, I haven't blogged a lot this year. Shocker. I think we're all hanging on and doing our best for our kiddos virtually or otherwise. Not going to make excuses - family, students, & self care first darlings! As always, if you need me - Tweet me, email me (check my contact page), Instagram DM me. I'm here for you - just writing blog posts right now isn't on the top of my list. 
Follow my Instagram for more posts. But not exactly daily, either! LOL  

Dear Readers, Love you, mean it, (but not in a creepy way) for sticking with me! 
New readers - welcome! I got a lot of helpful chirpy posts going back more than 10 years
Have at it! LOL Cheers dears!


  1. Hi, Gwyneth,
    I’ve just started my Teacher Librarian course work so I will admit that it will be a little while before I’m put in charge of weeding any collections. However, I really enjoyed your post because I suspect that weeding the collection will be something that I struggle with when I’m eventually working as a TL. In my own home, I am a total book hoarder. I have a personal library of probably over 600 books (and I have read most of them), but I really struggle to be honest with myself and tell myself that I will probably never read that book again and I didn’t really love it, so I probably don’t need to keep it in my collection. I imagine that this is something that will be a little bit more difficult when it comes to a collection that is not just my own. I would always worry that I might be getting rid of a book that someone will stumble across one day and fall in love with.
    However, I think you’re right: library shelf space IS limited and it IS valuable real estate. I will have to make some hard decisions and really think about which books have earned their right to stay in the library, and which books need a little bit more time, and which books it is time to retire.
    I will definitely be keeping your strategy in mind for when I eventually work in a school library.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Hi Unknown!
      Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. Wedding is a painful but necessary part to the job. It's sometimes AGONIZING! So, best to rip off the Band Aid and pull the book. Worse case scenario, if a kid is looking for a book you've weeded buy it again with the bonus you'll probably get a new cover and a stronger binding! Voila!

      PS. To all the REAL commenters out there and not SPAMMERS: You are so appreciated and I love hearing from you! Sorry for the delay in replying - I had 487 SPAM comments to go through to find only 13 REAL ones! Daunting. But your comment was worth finding and publishing. If you ever have any questions or if I can help in any way, please don't hesitate to contact me directly at Gwyneth Anne at G to the mail dot com. Best wishes, ~Gwyneth

  2. Like many others coming to your blog I'm a new teacher-librarian looking for passive mentorship and inspiration. As my first time on your site, I can already tell that I will be revisiting often. You tackle all the areas that I'm both excited and intimidated about. Hot topics like how to ensure the school library is a safe space and a platform for LGBTQ+ voices and diversity. As well as helpful cutting edge swipe right book weeding tips and low budget maker spaces. I understand that you are now retired, but if you find yourself reminiscing or having new insights, folks like me are looking for a library maven

    1. Hey Anon! Thank you so much for your real and really nice comment! I'm so glad you've found my blog helpful and useful! I'd be honored to be your Library Maven! Who wouldn't? LOL You're right! I've left Murray Hill Middle School. After 30 years of teaching, I have now taken an early retirement to lend my expertise, Social Media following, and Ed Tech know-how as a Global Educational consultant and speaker. But I'm still around so if you need me or have questions feel free to reach out at gwynethanne AT the Gmail Dot the Com.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Twitter Style Book Review Lesson

Do You Know About Secret Bitmoji's?

Makerspace for Little or Nothing