Are you aware that some children have never read Harry Potter? The end of the world must be nigh!

cull 1

I culled books today. It was a bloody scene.

Culling library books is a very emotive action, as most observers are horrified with the thought of books going to that great library in the sky. We wend ours to a book farm…

I have used data to make the decision on what to cull. If it hasn’t been borrowed in five years, it is gone.

No one wants to buy a sad, yellowed book, so it is better to clear the shelf space, and thankfully until now we have had a reasonable budget, and place fresh, attractive books that have some chance of being read on the shelf.

Occasionally, we throw out a well loved but aged copy and replace with a fresh cover to attract fresh readers. We did that recently with our Harry Potter titles. As unbelievable as it is we have students in year 7 and 8 who have never read Harry Potter, some have not watched the movies either. These are students born in 2003 and 2004, after all!

Books go to our art department for up cycling into artworks, others are donated to a charity that moves them to schools in New Guinea, where they only have a very limited shelf life due to the humidity and lack of air conditioning. If they can’t use the books in their libraries they are turned into bricks for building. Very few go from the shelf to the bin.

So we chose today to start the cull, as it was a pupil free day, and many teachers were away at panel meetings. Once Minerva had deleted the titles from the system she took them straight out the back to the compacts room where we keep the textbooks, hidden from sight, to await despatch to their various destinations.

I culled all day, except for an hour when I went to some professional development in blocking kids access to youtube and iTunes when I want them to focus – I am so looking forward to tomorrow. The power of blocking media, a teacher’s joy!

The down side is I culled all day and I am only up to COL in Fiction!

This is not a joke, it really happens! There's this book I saw on my Grandmother's shelf 37 years ago and it was blue - do you have it?

This is not a joke, it really happens! There’s this book I saw on my Grandmother’s shelf 37 years ago and it was blue – do you have it?

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3 thoughts on “Are you aware that some children have never read Harry Potter? The end of the world must be nigh!

  1. My youngest (born 2006) is obsessed with Harry Potter. 3 of my 4 kids read them all…. Although we have most HP things from Am.azon and Eee bay a lot of cool HP things are now out of stock as demand has dwindled apparently. He is also enjoying the David Walli.ams books too. Thank goodness for good old book-depository and free shipping!

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  2. The library at the school where I work is also culling its shelves, except that the librarian thoughtfully places the discarded volumes on a cart labeled “FREE BOOKS!” I regularly check the cart to see if there’s anything worth taking home—unfortunately, as I have brought over a dozen books into my tiny cottage under the justification that my daughter and grandson might appreciate them.

    I also found, to my dismay, a rare book illustrated by the late Edward Gorey. It would fetch a nice price on eBay or one of the online rare book sales websites. I inquired, hesitantly, if the library would be interested in selling the book for its own benefit: but the librarian waved me away, saying she didn’t have time to check the value of every book that’s ever sat on the shelves. So it is sitting with other ragged but revered books next to my bed, awaiting a trip to New York at Christmastime. It will be appreciated and maybe even loved by daughter and grandson, but it’s the library’s loss. 😦

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  3. I have multiple books from the Harry Potter series in my small Lexile Library at school. If I’m honest, some of the books are more tape than book at this point, but the kids still sign them out from time to time! I tell them that a taped-up book is a well-loved book. Of course, I only run the library at homeroom time. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to cull an entire library!

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