The Cassville Branch Library is currently completing a large project that will replace many damaged books and update the facility's catalog by eliminating an assortment of outdated items.
"We are doing a major weeding project where we go through the books and pull out items that are out of date or falling apart," said Cheryl Williams, Cassville Branch Library supervisor. "We had books that were moldy and mildewed and others that had been written in.
"This is a huge project," said Williams. "We are getting those items off the shelves so that they can be replaced with new versions or new titles."
Around 6,000 books have been removed from the shelves at the Cassville Branch Library. Most of those books will be available for purchase in a book sale that will be held at the Monett Branch Library later this summer.
"The purpose of this project is to update the collection and make room for new items," said Williams. "It doesn't make sense to have a book on how to take pictures with a Browning camera. If a book hasn't been checked out in 20 years, it probably is not going to be."
Although most libraries complete weeding projects each year, the Cassville Branch Library has not undertaken the large task in several years. For this reason, the number of items taken from the stacks was quite large, said Williams.
After the books are removed from the shelves, library staff members go through them a second time to determine if items should be replaced with new versions or eliminated from the catalog.
"We do a thorough job to make sure we are offering the most up-to-date information," said Williams. "We had a lot of medical items that were outdated and offered incorrect information."
Williams said that many of the shelves had also become so full that there was not space for new items ordered for the library.
"This has to be an ongoing thing to give space for new titles," said Williams. "We receive a couple hundred new items each week, and we need to have space available to get them out to people."
In addition to sorting the book shelves, Cassville Branch Library staff members pulled outdated and damaged items from the facility's selection of video tapes, CDs, books on tape and other materials.
Even though some titles will be eliminated from the Cassville Branch Library, patrons could still be able to obtain those items through the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library's intraloan and interloan programs.
"The intraloan program allows patrons to obtain books from other libraries in the district," said Williams. "Through the interloan program, we also share items with libraries throughout the United States.
"I like to say, 'Where in the world are Cassville's books?'" said Williams. "Just recently, we loaned books to a library in Pennsylvania and received items from libraries in Kansas and Idaho."
For more information on the weeding project, the loan programs or other Cassville Branch Library services, call Williams at 847-2121.