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Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

The Trusted Trustee

The Library Trustee: A Practical Guidebook
4th Edition
Young
1988

This book bubbled up from my library’s professional collection, having been tucked away in the Director’s office for a while (and by “a while” I mean a few decades.) It was probably a pretty handy book in its day. There is highlighting throughout, so someone clearly found it useful.

26 years later, it has snippets that are useful, but I would never give it to a trustee. It doesn’t point in the direction libraries are headed today at all, so it just gives trustees the wrong impression of their job (and our job).

You will see in the images below:
-Discussions of CD-ROM reference products
-That new-fangled “computerized circulation control”
-Old funding statistics on what percentage of funding comes from local, state, and federal sources
-Communication techniques that are completely void of technology
-The idea that technology of the future might allow people to access the library catalog (*gasp!) FROM THEIR HOMES
-The idea that technology of the future  might also allow libraries to replace print materials with “microfilm or compact discs” (p.122)

Please, please give your trustees training materials that reflect your library’s true mission and goals. You want them to support your efforts, not try to get you to spend money on CD-ROMs and plan for the future of fax machines.

Holly

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National Lib Week 2014: For Sex Ed, See Librarian

For Sex Education, See Librarian: A Guide to Issues and Resources
Cornog and Perper
1996

Submitter: My colleagues and I are just thankful no one ever noticed this book on our shelves…and then asked us for a sex ed seminar. *Quietly withdraw*

Holly: My first thought was that it goes back to a time when sex ed books were kept behind the desk, so if you wanted them you had to ask the librarian for them. Maybe? It is a bibliography of suggested books to have in your collection, which was ok for 1996 and a couple of years after that, but is pretty useless now.

Mary: I first looked at the title and read For Sex, See Librarian. Now that is customer service.

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National Library Week 2014: The Picture File

The picture file: A manual & curriculum-related subject heading list
Hill
1975

Submitter: [This is] from a middle school library non-fiction shelf available for student use!  The internet eliminated the need for picture files more than 15 years ago, but I found this book on the shelf last year. Once school libraries were staffed based on the amount of items in the collection.  That’s the only explanation I can think of for why this book was still on the shelf. What’s more astounding is that someone paid to put this in an online catalog instead of weeding it when the card catalog and picture files were eliminated.

Holly: Who knows how things like this get missed or passed over when weeding!

I have to confess: I had no idea what a picture file is.  I can see how it  might have been a cool thing in the 1970s and 1980s, though!  It looks like it’s a file of pictures (um…duh, right?) that are  used for bulletin boards, displays, teaching lessons, and that sort of thing.

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