Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

Do the Jitterbug

How to Jitterbug

Submitter: It totally doesn’t belong in the children’s library collection anymore, but it’s more AWESOME Library Book than Awful (actually, one of my coworkers took it home for her own collection as soon as I showed it to her).


You’ll notice it’s actually copyright 1984 so it could be much worse, but like I said, I still think this is more an AWESOME discovery than an awful one, anyway.

Holly: It is pretty awesome…for a library other than yours or mine. I am absolutely shocked that the record survived the decades! It seems older than 1984, but I’m no dancer. Would the jitterbuggers among us enlighten me? Was this still a thing in 1984? Is it still a thing now?

More Dancing:

Dance the Night Away

Move Over Shirley Temple

Gettin’ Jiggy

Take Me to Funkytown

Dancing With Cats

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Steven is Retarded

My Brother Steven is Retarded

Submitter: We found this *horror* while weeding a school library. Perhaps once upon a time this may have been helpful to a elementary/middle school child, but now it’s just awful. And it’s photographs, so Steven is probably still out there, as well as his sister. Can you imagine a sibling bringing this book home today?

Holly: There are definitely better books on the subject (with  more current photographs and terminology) today! The content seems very candid, though, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Kids probably really have these thoughts. I’m with submitter, though – it may have been helpful back in the day but should really be replaced with something more current.

More Books on the Developmentally Disabled:

Crafts for (the) Retarded?

Training Retarded Babies

Siblings of Retarded Children

Church for the Retarded

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Ford and Foie Gras

Ford Tuning : Secrets Revealed

Submitter: I recently found this hardcover in the automotive repair section at my public library. It appears to self-published, but has some very professional-looking graphic design and doesn’t seem like a cheap book. However, I was concerned that the technology referred to in it would be out-of-date. The book is thirteen years old and uses some very Windows 95-like screen shots as illustrations. Not to mention that it reads like one big infomercial for DiabloSport, “a manufacturer of performance electronics” that the author happens to be a co-founder of. I was prepared to withdraw the book based on those factors and it’s circulation numbers alone, but I’m so glad I continued flipping through until I reached page 152. That’s the beginning of “the most important chapter!” The one that teaches you to cook a full-course Hungarian dinner for your friends and family “after a successful day of tuning” — followed by twelve pages of recipes and cooking photos!

I am lucky I didn’t burst out laughing in the middle of the reference desk. This book made my day… But it still got weeded.

Holly: Here in the Detroit area, all titles about Ford are sacred, but the cooking section is bizarre! The subject headings are “Ford automobile” and “Ford automobile–Motors–Maintenance and repair.” It doesn’t say anything about cooking. The back cover claims “It is the most comprehensive collection of information on Ford electronic tuning ever printed.” It might well have been in 2001, and the information does seem pretty solid for its time, but I doubt that this book is still relevant for today’s Ford vehicles. Libraries in southeast Michigan may want to keep it if there are auto aficionados in their communities. The Woodward Dream Cruise may depend on it….eventually, when 2001 is considered “classic.”

More Auto Fun:

Real Auto-Erotica! (NSFW!)

Motor City Special

Baby, you can drive my car

See a Man About a Car

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