Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

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Making a Collection Count

Childhood Diseases are Fun!

have a happy measle title page

Have a Happy Measle, and a Merry Mumps and a Cheery Chickenpox
Bendick
1958

Today we have an oldie, but a goodie, thanks to an alert Twitter follower. Since this is before widespread application of the vaccines for childhood illnesses, maybe these authors were just trying to spin disease as a fun vacation from school. As a child, I had measles, mumps and chickenpox and just about everyone else I knew did too. It was almost a rite of passage. I don’t really remember it being this “fun”, though. It’s definitely a weeder, but also an awesome relic from the olden days.

Stay healthy everyone!

Mary

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Home Ec Flashback

teen homemaker cover

Teen Guide to Homemaking
Brinkley, Chamberlin, Champion
1977

This could have been my high school text for home ec and the pictures could have come straight from my high school yearbook. All that is missing is a soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever.  Just to give some context, microwaves were still pretty new at this time and this text doesn’t even mention them. The featured picture below talks about self-cleaning ovens and self-defrosting freezers, which constituted some seriously fancy features.

I swear, none of this seems “that” long ago in my head. Excuse my age crisis, but younger staff members/patrons have often said something like, “Ask Mary, she is old enough to remember… (insert anything “old” like a typewriter, presidents before Reagan, etc)”

Not that old (really),

Mary

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Jim “Catfish” Hunter

Jim Catfish Hunter - cover
Jim “Catfish” Hunter
Burchard
1976

Submitter: I weeded this book from an urban [elementary] school library. In the introduction it compares professional baseball to slavery, because the players are traded from team to team. I guess that’s the kind of racist comment that was considered acceptable to print in a children’s book in 1976. It gives a very clear answer to the difficult question many libraries with tight budgets struggle with: Is it better to have an outdated item on a topic, rather than no items on a topic? NO. This library now has no baseball biographies, and that’s okay.

Holly: Kids today are not interested in every single sports star from their parents’ generation. There are some, for sure, who will never be bad subjects for a school library collection (Babe Ruth, for example), but keep the books themselves up to date! If Jim “Catfish” Hunter is worthy of the collection, there will be a newer book available. (Never heard of him…but admittedly I’m not a baseball fan.) I’m with submitter: NO books on a topic is better than only awful ones.

 

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