Selection, deaccessioning, and the public image of information professionals: learning from the mistakes of the past
The image of librarians, archivists and other information professionals has been affected in recent decades by public misunderstanding of selection and deaccessioning decisions. Librarians counter critiques from publicly available sources, such as Nicholson Baker's book Double Fold, by publishing articles in professional journal literature. This article explores recent headlines generating controversy around selection and weeding issues at libraries, museums, and archives, including cases at the New York Public Library, Buffalo Museum of Science, Birmingham Public Library, and Bowling Green State University. It concludes that a public institution must initiate public dialogue to portray necessary collection development tasks in a positive light to administrators and the general public.
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