Teen Librarian Toolbox
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#BacklistYA – What are the books you just hate weeding?


Earlier this week I wrote a post specifically about NEWER YA titles that dealt with sexual violence and rape culture. If I was writing a comprehensive list, I would undoubtedly include the title Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. This got me thinking about those older backlist titles – classics if you will – that we cherish and hold dear. So I asked on Twitter: What #BacklistYA titles do you think a YA Librarian should never get rid of and why? Here’s some of the replies I got:

  1. Name a #backlistYA title that you think libraries SHOULD NEVER weed ever & tell us why #Teens #YALit #Libraries Please RT

  2. #backlistYA Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen. It's a wonderful book about a girl coming into her own.

  3. #backlistYA Sunrise Over Fallujah by WDM. Shows war isn't what it's cracked up to be.


Of course the truth is, if a book doesn’t circulate it doesn’t circulate. You have to earn shelf space. I myself recently lamented that my teens no longer seemed to be reading Judy Blume. I’m not yet ready to weed them, but we’ve all had to weed something we loved. What have you had to weed that just broke your heart? Tell us in the comments.


  1. Weeding a book because it “just doesn’t circulate” is a poor reason to weed. Its best reader may be a small minority population whom you may not have many representatives of at your school or community, but who will be extra grateful when they find the book. Weeding on the basis of n0-popularity and no-circulation has a disproportionate impact on underserved and underrepresented populations.

  2. Would it be possible for you to report the responses as a list? I am interested but do not wish to spend my time clicking to uncover this information.

    To think today’s young reader is no longer attracted to books by Judy Blume saddens me greatly. Our world is moving along and changing so rapidly. What to weed and when to do it is an important topic. Thank goodness we now have a way to preserve digitally.

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