The Desperation of a Public Library | Kristen Twardowski

Kristen Twardowski

These days public libraries operate on desperation as often as they run on anything else. This recently drove several library staff to do something a little reckless.

Culling library collections often relies on numbers. If a patron checks out a book, that book is safe in the system. If a book isn’t checked out for a certain period of time, however, that book is often placed on a to-be-culled list. These lists don’t take into account whether or not a book is considered a classic, was written by a famous author, or has regional value. It only looks at circulation numbers.

To get around this system, several librarians at Florida’s East Lake County Library created a fictitious library patron, Chuck Finley. Named after a retired major league baseball pitcher, Finley would be their savior. During 2016, Finley checked out 2,361 books from the library. These books varied and included titles by…

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Brandon L. Rucker

Brandon L. Rucker is a musician and writer of fiction, nonfiction and journalism. Armed with grammar and diction, plus an uncanny sense of rhythm and melody, he is at-large and potentially dangerous. Be wary.

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