Less than a week ago I did a little weeding in the YA section. I have a decent book budget, and I am not a librarian who can't stand to pull things from the collection, so I regularly go through and pull old/outdated books, and books (especiall paperbacks) that look just plain crappy. If it's a popular or classic title, I buy a new one. If not, out it goes - I want the section to have the latest and "best" (way a matter of opinion!) titles, AND I want it to LOOK inviting.
Anyway, I decided that rather than throw the books out, I'd make a FREE BOOKS box and put it in the "teen sitting area." A side note about this area: we don't have a teen room, so we put three chairs near the YA shelves and used a large, long table to create a little "nook." The table also serves as additional YA display space. I named it the "Teen Spot." Um, I have no money, so it only has some pretty LAME posters and a bulletin board. And, what I've noticed is that all the older folks like to sit there - I have taken to calling it the Age Spot (but not out loud). Sigh.
So, I was psyched to come in yesterday and find several girls sitting on the floor, FREE BOOKS box between them, digging around in it and excitedly choosing something to take. Wheee! Then I had a family come in from out of state. The girl (about 13) was looking at the shelves longingly. I asked her what she liked to read, and she said, "Oh, we're on the road, so I can't take anything out. But I've read all the books I brought with me." I pointed to the FREE BOOKS box and she said, "Really, I can just take one? Cool!" A little while later her mom came over to me and asked if the Teen Reviewers program was just for local kids. "Hella no!" I said (OK, again not out loud). I explained that it was all done via e-mail, so anyone could join. Her daughter signed up and said we were "cool."
And a good day was had by all.