Grantee Articles 2016 By Renee Foster

Oh Well! Just Weeded it….

Ann Morgester- Just Weed It!

Weeding can be a daunting task but somehow it has to be done throughout the year. Its sound easy right?

However don’t forget how much space those books are taking that could free up room for books students would rather read. I recently had to console a middle school student library aid, who was horrified that we were discarding books. These were old 1970’s era publications that had long outlived their usefulness. Regardless she still did not understand.

Weeding is a tedious task, it takes time, careful thought and consideration. But as our session host, Ann Morgester pointed out it is so necessary to offer our patron relevant useful information.

As an Elementary Media Associate I struggled with the task, with too little time and too little help.

I incorporated a lesson on finding a book on the shelf and at the same time enlisted my students help in getting those books off the shelf and to my cart for review.

How… I pulled a list of books with less than 1 checkout in a 5 year period, cut my list into strips and each student was tasked to to find a book read, it for 10-15 minutes and decide if they wanted to check that book out or put it up for review to be removed from the library. This actually helped a few books find some use again. This also confirmed that 90% of these were still not books students wanted to check out.

Yes it is painful to let go of a book that is like brand new that has never left the shelf. Its so un-natural. It goes against our love for books. This is a task that is easily put off but must be done.   We are here to serve our patrons and not our own ideals. So Oh Well! Just Weed it!

Recommended Reading and Tools



Turning Historical Facts into Fiction

Carole Etsby Dagg – Turning Facts into Fiction: Behind the Scenes with a Historical Fiction Writer

WOW, loved this presentation.

Carole Etsby Dagg, Author of “Sweet Home Alaska” and “The Year We Were Famous”.

Carole led us through her journey to connect with the subjects of two of her books.

After enjoying Carole’s inspiring session, I now appreciate the journey to write any type of paper, report or a book that it is inherent to immerse yourself in your topic. This makes perfect sense in order to capture appropriate facts and insight when it comes to creating historically accurate time periods that are interlaced with a fictional story. I am a great fan of historical fiction. I am slowly embarking on my own journey of curating the past stories of my own relatives. I find it exciting that their stories may live on through future generations whether they are fact or fictional or even semi-fictional stories that have been passes down through the years. I feel this lets future generations use their imaginations to experience the past.

Really how can you write about a historical fiction time period without fully understanding your subject. By experiencing the what your characters endured, you will be better able to capture the time period. Carole Etsby Dagg, shared with us how she physically dressed in the fashion, sewed garments, made cheese, research newspaper articles, and hiked some of the same paths.

By understanding the limitations of the time we become better at expressing our character’s perspective. Take your subjects journey, whether it was trekking through the woods or and oceans journey. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Research, dig through archives, interview and our record elder’s stories. “This is research” according to Carole Etsby Dagg, “exploring these facts will inspire the imagination.”

Useful Research Links:

Search the UAF Catalog Oral History section

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