One of my self-assigned projects at my new job is to weed and update (when possible) our VHS collection. For those outside of the library world, weeding is the process of removing items from the collection that just don't fit in anymore. Different types of libraries have different weeding procedures but at the end of the day, no matter how many policies or theories are in place, it is a very subjective practice. In fact, it is often avoided because it is hard.
Sometimes I can easily tell what should be removed. In other cases, I need to screen at least part of the film before I can make a choice. Today I watched parts of a documentary about a silent film movie producer (keep), an educational movie entitled "The Medieval Mind" that I think had been transferred from 16mm by the Encyclopedia Britannica folks and featured a cool jazzy soundtrack (weed) and what appeared to be home movie footage of several different installation pieces by the same artist (?). The art was really cool but since none of these pieces were on MICA property nor does the artist appear to have any MICA affiliation, I'm not sure if we can keep it.
This leads to trying to track down the artist, politely asking about the footage and hoping that they don't get pissed about the bootleg footage in your collection. The alternative is just trashing it and that seems inappropriate as well. You can start to see why the process is time consuming and is put off until "later".
Anyway, there is a great blog about weeding written by two public librarians. Since the public library is supposed to be the source of good current information, they are constantly appalled by the extremely outdated materials still available on many library shelves. Today's offering might be one of my favorites. The cover is AWESOME!!