Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 19, 2009


Bryce A. Suderow, DC Watch - I was upset when the head of the DC Libraries "weeded" the collections, removing classics and valuable texts in history and the humanities from the branch I use - the Southeast Branch. The weeding was explained as then-new Library Director Ginny Cooper's "refreshing" of the collections, to bring them up to date. What she did was remove most of the serious books, substitute DVDs, CDs and comic books, and add more computers to branches. In less than a year, she claimed greatly improved circulation statistics at Southeast - and she applied the same plan at all the libraries.

I tried for months to find out what happened to the books from Southeast from Cooper's bureaucrats. I was told various stories - that they were added to the collection at Martin Luther King, Jr., that they would be "always available" - but they would just not take up valuable shelf space at more than one place. Not quite true. Today I learned from librarians that Ms. Cooper sold the books on amazon.com. She didn't bother to remove the stamps and bar codes that identify them as Southeast library books. As a result, conscientious buyers, who bought them for pennies, are returning them to the library, saying there must be a mistake - that these books belong to Southeast Library. Seems as though she just can't get rid of those classics.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have the cost of these books deducted from her pay, then reduce her to a shelver.

Nobody screws with the books.

- Strelnikov

January 20, 2009 6:25 PM  

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