Home » Categories » Collection Development » Weeding Tips » 2017

06-17: Religion


10/3/MUSTIE for most; 5/3/MUSTIE for trends, new authors, new sects or areas of rapid change.

Weeding is necessary in every Dewey section. Religion can be a tricky, somewhat sensitive subject. There are the major religions: Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism. Our libraries' shelves should reflect the assemblies located within our community. For example, in Englewood we have a large Orthodox Jewish community, as well as multiple Baptist churches and a brand new Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Do our shelves cater to one group more than another? As librarians we should show equality to all religions represented in our local area.

Religious materials appear to never go out-of-date, however language becomes dated, especially in books of sermons and religious thought. Sacred texts are never out-of-date. They are revised, and new editions are readily available. It is wise to keep classics by famous theologians (C.S. Lewis, Mohandes Gandhi, Lao Tzu, Mother Teresa) as long as they are circulating and in good condition. Weed superseded editions. It is imperative that your library's Collection Development Policy states that “the library does NOT accept religious books and materials of a proselytizing nature.” It is a good rule to avoid adding any materials donated by specific religious groups seeking converts. What if we ask the clergy represented in our communities to recommend titles that are relevant, published in the last 3 – 5 years? These titles would need to edify our collection, not be proselytizing in nature, and be useful for scholarly study as well as religious. Let the clergy understand that you are asking for guidance and that the titles will go through a review process.

Another avenue to bulking up the religion section is through adding titles on prayer. Prayer is universal to all religions. With Ramadan ending soon, it is the perfect time to increase our awareness of this time of fasting and praying. Ramadan books are available for adults and children. Holidays of each religion should be represented on our shelves.

Suggestions for Weeding

  • Breaking the spell: religion as a natural phenomenon by Daniel Clement Dennett, 2006 (067003472X)
  • Water from the well: Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah by Ann Richardson Roiphe, 2006 (9780060737962)
  • What Jesus meant by Gary Wills, 2006 (9780670034963)

Suggestions for Purchase

  • Building a bridge: how the Catholic Church and the LGBT community can enter into a relationship of respect, compassion, and sensitivity by James Martin, 2017 (9780062694317)
  • In all seasons, for all reasons: praying throughout the year by James Martin, 2017 (9780814645079)
  • Chasing grace: what the quarter mile has taught me about God and life by Sanya Richards-Ross, 2017 (9780310349402)
  • It's Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr by Richard Sebra, 2017 (9781512414288)
  • Lies we believe about God by William P. Young, 2017 (9781501101397)
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