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Bixby Library may retire some artifacts

THESE WOODEN CLOGS are one of the objects Bixby Memorial Library is considering for deaccessioning in the coming months.

VERGENNES — The Bixby Memorial Free Library takes its history as an object and artifact collecting institution seriously. Since the Vergennes library opened in 1912, it has managed custody of items both relevant to the five-town community and items that come from the wider region and nation.
As part of its strategic planning goal to increase library programming space, the board has decided to prioritize the lawful and ethical deaccessioning of some of the library’s object and artifact collections.
Deaccessioning means that the board will choose to remove objects and artifacts from Bixby custody which either:
•  are not relevant to the five-town community.
•  are a duplicate of something in better condition already in the collection.
•  are in poor condition such that their cultural value is minimal.
Objects and artifacts that are relevant to the five-town community will remain in Bixby custody indefinitely.
In order to deaccession an object under Vermont law, the item must first be part of the institution’s formal collections. The Bixby Board brought all objects and artifacts into the formal collections when it adopted the Objects and Artifacts policy at the public board meeting in September 2019.
Any items under consideration for deaccession must be publicly posted for six months prior to deaccessioning. The Objects and Artifacts portion of the Bixby’s website (bixbylibrary.org) separates those items that are considered for deaccession from those that will remain with the collection indefinitely. The library has also submitted and will continue to submit notices in the Addison Independent to direct community members to the website.
The six-month advisement period begins Jan. 13 and will last through July 13. Bixby is committed to handling the deaccessioning process in compliance with Vermont law and best practice in the field.
Local history is best interpreted by the local community. If anyone has any questions, concerns, or additional information about any of the objects and artifacts under Bixby custody, the library wants to hear from them. The website resources were developed in good faith, but often by people outside the community, so please excuse any errors in the descriptions of the Object and Artifact Collections and bring them to the library’s attention. Email archives@bixbylibrary.org or ask to speak with Maddy Willwerth, Interim Director.

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