Library weeding is a topic in the local news. Library Book Savers is opposed to the reckless removal of books and other material from library collections. We care what is discarded and how it is handled after withdrawal from the library. We formed this group to protect our own public library in Alameda County, California.

There are few institutions with as much €œbuy-in€ as public libraries.  They serve the entire population, rich and poor, young and old. As tax-paying citizens (and local shoppers who pay sales tax) we pool our resources to support them. We are not wealthy donors, yet we take pride in being benefactors of these cultural treasure houses, filled with material we can share. We see libraries as egalitarian commons--one of the few places where people from diverse backgrounds meet and experience democracy face to face.

Free speech is protected at the library, controversies come up for discussion and learning takes place. This explains why diverse individuals and groups lay claim to libraries and may compete to be heard. As members of the public, we expect those administering the library to listen to our points of view and allow us to use the library as a public forum, a space to exercise our constitutionally-protected rights to convene and speak out.

Individual members of Library Book Savers think for themselves, but share a common purpose. We have a very clear vision for public libraries, born from past experience and present expectations. We know what works well in our local community and oppose the unsolicited changes forced upon us. Albany Library is a branch of Alameda County Library, where the weeding policy originated. The harm was done to us and several other branches in our system. This type of extreme weeding is happening across the country and our website and Facebook page urge patrons experiencing similar problems to confront this "disruptive change" agenda and demand stability and a more intelligent, imaginative selection of materials and programs.

Though most book lovers shy away from manifestos, our purpose can be put into words:

We oppose the dumbing-down of collections that results from reckless weeding. Weeding without restraint reduces the range of choice and culls the context of information, making libraries sleek but shallow. We accuse the œinformation professionals promoting these policies of censorship: the hostile takeover of content disguised as the harmless makeover of space.