The rules for when to withdraw1 craft books are pretty much the same as those for withdrawing cookbooks: not having been checked out for X2 years, poor condition or outdated content. It’s much easier to decide when the information in medicine, science and technology books becomes outdated; even the soft sciences, such as psychology or sociology, are easy to determine thus. Other subjects, such as history or biography, are a bit more difficult: Washington was the first president of the United States, after all, and Theodore Roosevelt was a member of the Rough Riders. However, while the basic facts don’t change, the interpretation of them does: was Lincoln more concerned with states’ rights or human rights?
Having done collection development for [mumble] years now, I’d put most crafts a little closer to the sciences end of the spectrum than the history end; candlemaking and crocheting haven’t changed much in regards how one makes the candles or wields the hook, but the resulting form? That’s firmly in the arena of interior decor or fashion, and those change with the wafting breezes; just look at any magazine from a few years back and you’ll see what I mean. Thankfully, there is an approximate equivalent to Lileks’ The Gallery of Regrettable Foods: Threadbared: Decades of Don’ts from the sewing and crafting world…and as with my comment previously about cookbooks’ resemblance to Lileks’ book, if the photographs in your library’s crafts materials resemble the illustrations in this book, you probably should consider withdrawing them.
Threadbared: Decades of Don’ts from the sewing and crafting world isn’t quite as snarky or as in depth as The Gallery of Regrettable Foods; there are, however, quite enough jaw dropping photographs in the former to make it worth reading for those of us who knit, crochet and sew. I’ll be the first to admit that future knitters will be no less bemused about patterns extant today–indeed I’ve been nonplussed by things I made in the ’80s–but “Threadbared”‘s illustrations will make more than a few readers think “Good deity, people actually thought this was stylish?” Unfortunately, the web site which inspired the book is no longer extant–it hasn’t been updated since 2007 and the links lead nowhere–so for now we’ll have to make do with the book, if it can be found.
1yes, we withdraw many things. And (the horror) throw them away. If no one can be bothered to check it out at no charge, why would they want to pay good money for the thing at a book sale?
2the most common value for X falling between 3-5 years