Since January there has been a growing concern among patrons of the San Frangisk Central Public Library in Gozo as the bookshelves have been growing emptier and emptier. We reached out to the Malta Libraries agency and have found out that they had been cleaned out in a large-scale removal known as ‘weeding’. Since the weeding began, roughly eight thousand books were removed.
But don’t pull out your pitchforks and torches just yet. It was for a good reason.
Weeding is a regular part of the maintenance and upkeep of libraries world-wide. And it was desperately needed.
“After evaluating the collection, a heavy weeding exercise was needed due to the fact that this exercise had not been carried out for a good number of years.” Said Margaret Zammit, Deputy Librarian of the Central Public Library. “Consequently most of the collection was out-of-date, torn and even infested with book worm.”
But don’t worry – those 8,000 books weren’t just thrown away, they were recycled. Although weeded out books are typically sold to the public for cheap, these books were in such bad condition that they were deemed a potential health hazard.
The Gozo Central Public Library was officially transferred under the jurisdiction Malta Libraries in July 2016. What this means is a bigger budget, and the ability to make the library more inclusive. Over the coming year the library plans to not only replace the weeded out books, but also bring in dyslexic friendly books, graphic novels and audio visual material. Good Job!
If you’re concerned about the books that were left on the shelves for so long they rotted, you can help out by getting a membership at your local library and encouraging others to be active readers.