Yes, books are wonderful. Books are precious. Books should be treasured…
If you’re reading this, chances are good that you’re a teacher, librarian or caregiver; and as such, you’re in an important position. You’re someone to whom children look for answers. They also look to books, and therein lies a problem. Not all books are good books. A good book today may be a bad book tomorrow.
Allow me to illustrate.
In first grade, my daughter borrowed a book about the moon from her school library. It concluded with the inspirational sentiment, “someday men will go to the moon.” She thought this a wonderful suggestion, until I explained to her that men had already been to the moon numerous times and had now set their sights on Mars. I don’t care how true the rest of the book may have been, it belonged in the trash. It may have been a good book in the 1960s, but it is (or should be) garbage now.
If yours is not a special focus library and your primary patrons are children, hyper vigilance is in order when deselecting old nonfiction books – particularly biographies. Kids believe what they read.
Currently, we’re in the “perfect storm” of biography assignments. Between President’s Day, Black History Month, the new Common Core State Standards, and Women’s History Month coming up fast, the biography shelves see more action this time of year than any other.
I gave mine a good, hard look the other day, and here are some things I discovered.
The President of the United States – He’s a very popular choice for assignments, but some of my books were written soon after his first election. Plenty of things have happened since then, and plenty of new biographies have been published. Unless the older titles offer a unique perspective not present in other books (the road to the White House, the story behind a particular speech or inaugural address, his childhood), they can go.
More advice on what to do with your Justin Bieber and A-Rod books at Shelf-employed.
Happy President’s Day!
Copyright © 2014 L Taylor. All Rights Reserved.