A bunch of reference librarians from various liberal arts colleges in the state gathered today to discuss the future of the reference collection. These meetings are always fun because the reference librarians at these schools are such great people. We do a lot of joking and laughing at these meetings (in addition to discussing weighty topics and sharing our recent experiments and innovations).
Well, today, one group was describing its library’s process of deselecting about 40% of their reference collection. The question came up, did you move books to other areas in the library or get rid of them? And if you get rid of them, where do they go? Well, we were laughing about the idea of Reference Work Purgatory and some books just “flying away” to a better place when the projection screen saver started up. It was about 20 or 30 books that were flapping and flying around the screen.
Gales of laughter ensued.