Having a love for books does not mean that I don’t pulp old
books from time to time.
This happens in all public libraries,
and I do it with some of my own outdated books too.
I recently commented upon just why this is something
that needs to be done.
Here is a summary of just why library books get pulped :
– There is a major difference between a lending or reference
library, and an archive.
– Libraries are not archives.
– Any outdated medical or legal book will provide dangerous
– Technologies change.
– New editions get published.
– Our thinking upon various issues,
such as works of art,
changes over the years.
– We constantly discover more and more about the world
– Libraries are places in which people find books to educate
To sum this all up:
– People want to be able to access what is the best current
information upon any subject,
as opposed to looking a dangerously outdated data or ideas.
– Library stock should be the very best possible in order to
achieve these various ends.
Books are not sacred objects,
but a medium via which to spread information and ideas.
If only more libraries were to explain any or all of the above,
then we wouldn’t get such a bad press every time that a book is
withdrawn from stock.
This needs to be said – time & time & time again.