The North Greenbush Library covers the township of North Greenbush and is located in Wynantskill, Southeast of Troy.
When I visited the Troy libraries, I saw that they were struggling with buildings in need of renovation and repair, but had staff who curated and cared for the collection in spite of the awkward spaces. The North Greenbush Library… I am trying to find the right words so I don’t hurt feelings.
Books overflowed, onto carts, windowsills, sideways over the top of other books…
The Science Fiction section near the front door, was entirely blocked by boxes.
Maybe I’m doing them a disservice, maybe they are in the middle of a project, but I saw no signage indicating that. Weeding is important. A collection needs to be the right size for its space, and sometimes that means letting go. According to reports, they have over 21,000 items in adult fiction alone. To give that perspective, Troy has 1,588. Pine Hills has 8,285.
Having an abundance can seem like a wonderful thing, and getting rid of items that could possibly be checked out seems counter-intuitive to resourceful, budget-conscious people. However, there is a tipping point when a collection is so overgrown it loses its browse-ability. When you can’t get a book off the shelf because it’s wedged in so tight it’s stuck, when you can’t read book spines because they are in sideways, it is time to take action. The choices are to get a bigger building, extend shelving upwards and get ladders, or to thoughtfully cull out books that are no longer popular, up-to-date or wanted. I did find books I wanted to borrow, and I feel bad criticizing another library, but I am speaking from experience. When I arrived at my library, my predecessor had not discarded anything…basically ever.
Jane is visiting all 36 locations of the Upper Hudson Library System (see introduction)