Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 5 of 30. My Prairie Year

Book 30.
How important is it that we remember the past?

I know. I know! What a terrible question! But isn't this exactly what's running through your mind as you read through your collection and consider what to keep and what to weed?

Is it as simple as consulting circulation numbers?

This book hasn't been checked out in nearly 10 years, therefore it needs to be weeded.

Can you reason weeding the title based on its publication year?

This book was published in 1986 and is nearly two decades older than our oldest students.

Can format be blamed?

This book's pencil illustrations are moving and evocative, but the bulky paragraphs would turn off any of our readers.

It doesn't seem fair. My Prairie Year, written from the journal entries of Elenore Plaisted, a successful children's book illustrator, at the age of nine in 1889, is a perfectly preserved slice of history. But it's in it's very DNA that it loses it's modern audience. It doesn't match the curriculum. It's of an experience to which none of our students could relate. It just doesn't fit.

And I'm having a very hard time coming to terms with that.

- Matthew

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