USA: librarians suspended for gaming book culling software

Fake user checked out unpopular books.

Librarians in Florida created a fake patron who checked out over 2000 unpopular books in an attempt to save them from removal.

The library was using software that recommended books be disposed based merely on popularity, rather than a combination of factors that a librarian may take into consideration. Two employees have been suspended pending investigations and an audit of other libraries is currently underway.

Corey Doctorow writes that the librarians were attempting to game a system merely because it needed to be improved:

"…the important takeaway here: these librarians didn't monkeywrench their software for personal gain. They did it because they wanted to make the system better, to teach it how to weigh[t] the circulation data to reflect the on-the-ground intelligence and historical perspective they had on their libraries, their collections and their patrons".

Sources: Orlando Sentinel; BoingBoing.