Library Update November 2022

Patron Thanksgiving


As winter comes, I must face this annual challenge for the Otis Library; how do I find the space to put all the books and materials in the library? During the summer the circulation of materials is high and therefore there has been open space. But now with more of our items being returned space is very limited. And we need to provide room for new items to be added to the collection throughout the rest of the year. It seems that there is no way to add more space so where do I put everything? Is there such a premise as “enough is enough?” Do we just stop growing? Unfortunately, the only other answer is to weed the collection. I must determine what to discard.

So, we do the research. First, I must examine the library collection. Then using reports from CWMARS, Central Western Massachusetts Automated Resource System to identify all items that had not circulated in the last five years I determine the focus. I must apply criteria to determine what to do with these items. I used three sources. I used the references from Marie Kondo to start evaluating the options for each item. I categorized the items, and identified legal, historic, or classic literary value using Marie Kondo’s questions, “Did these items speak to the heart, or the mind?” and “Did these items no longer spark joy?”


Then I used Joshua Becker’s insights as an American author, writer, and philanthropist. Becker has written four books on minimalism and intentional living. He suggested finding a home for every item. My difficulty is finding a new home for these items.


Now I am ready, the items have been identified, and evaluated. The items I must re-home are here. Now it is time for you to use your criteria. Do you have room? Is the item speaking to your Heart or Mind? Is it sparking Joy for you? Please come and look and take what you want.


November is Patron Thanksgiving


All items that have been weeded from the Otis Library collection are available free to our patrons. When we decide it’s time to part with these items it is important to offer them to our patrons free of charge because we are thankful to tour continued support. We know you will use these items to continue to enrich and improve people’s lives.


What will happen to what is left? Once again, I start my research. Joshua Becker has some suggestions that we will pursue such as Goodwill Industries, Habitat for Humanity Re-stores, Retirement Homes, Local Charities, Books through Bars, and Books for Soldiers. I also invite you to offer any suggestions you may have.


As I have worked through this process, I found similar conditions at home. How do I find the room to bring in all the items that have been in the yard and on the porches? Where will I put everything? What can I get rid of? Adding belongings is not adding value to my life it is just accumulating more stuff. So, as I go home perhaps, I will apply the same practices of Joshua Becker and Marie Kondo that I have implemented in the library. We were never meant to live life accumulating stuff. “We were meant to live simply enjoying the experiences of life, the people of life, and the journey of life — not the things of life.” Joshua Becker


Concluding Thoughts

“The National Association of Professional Organizers says we spend one year of our lives looking for lost items.”


“The end of our lives will be much the same. It will be another moment when everything gets flipped upside-down. At that moment, we won’t care about how many hours we had worked, we’ll just care about the time we spent with family and friends and probably wish we had done it more. We won’t care about the size of our bank account or the things we had acquired… we’ll care about the difference we have made, the lives we have changed, and the legacy we have left.”