Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

Biology Coloring Book

The Biology Coloring Book
Griffin
1986

Submitter: I am starting at a PreK-8 small private school with a media center jam packed with gems like this. I’m not entirely sure what the focus of this book is or how it got into the collection. It’s not necessarily a bad book. It’s pretty technical, like a textbook. But coloring? I feel that if someone were keen on presenting a different way of interacting with biology, there are more effective methods than coloring.  Beside that, this science book is older than me, and it hasn’t ever circulated. There are undoubtedly much better bio books that could fit in this book’s shelf space. I’d always be nervous about circulating a coloring book in a library anyway, but with this one? Three guesses which illustrations are the only ones that have been colored…

Holly: Yeah, I’m not surprised about which page was colored in (See below – potentially NSFW!). Coloring books are usually the kiss of death for school libraries. Between it’s age and the fact that it has never circulated, I’d think it was an easy weeding candidate.

Mary’s daughter is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in biology. She might like this! Hey, Sarah, if you need a study break there’s still some unfinished coloring on the reproductive system page…

More Bad Science:

Blinding Me With Science

Something Different: A Science Book Disclaimer

Sliding Into Science

Animal Cruelty at the Science Fair?

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Friday Fiction – Chilly Billy

Chilly Billy
Mayle
1983

Submitter: I found this rather bizarre children’s story accidentally miss-shelved in our easy readers. Chilly Billy is a small little man that lives in a refrigerator. The story recounts his many adventures roaming around vegetables, training for the trans-refrigerator races and falling in love with his nurse! I don’t think the safety warning inside the front cover is enough. Even though refrigerator deaths have declined significantly since refrigerators were redesigned in the 1950′s (by force of law), it is still not outside the realm of possibility. Children have active imaginations and I could easily see one deciding to climb into a refrigerator to look for Billy. Scary thought.

Other problems with the book include its format. The larger size doesn’t fit on the same shelf as other chapter books. Pages are loose and yellowing. The book hasn’t circulated since 2001. It’s past time for it to be gone (and this one will be heading to File 13 instead of the Friend’s Book Sale).

Holly: Cute book! I agree that the format is a little difficult for library shelving, though. The bigger problem for me is that it seems like a topic for a younger child – maybe kindergarten or so – but the vocabulary and sentence structures are somewhat advanced. It just doesn’t read like a book for the age group that this subject would appeal to. That said, I’d weed it because it hasn’t circulated in 13 years and has yellowing pages.

More Awful Books for the Kids:

Spanking vs. Doctor Appointment

Muffin is Dead

I is for Indian

End of the World for Kids

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“It’s Not Just a Job, It’s An Adventure”

Careers in the Navy
Palladian
1977

Submitter: I have been going through my large local public library and finding lots of gems in their career sections.

Holly: Now, I don’t know Submitter, but it sounds as if maybe they do not work at the library from whence this came. A patron, maybe? How embarrassing! Folks, when your patrons start submitting to ALB, you have a problem.

Let’s start with the fact that 1977 is too old for just about any career book. The navy is a high-tech career that depends on currency! You wouldn’t want to decide to go into the navy, only to find out it is not at all like this book suggests! You wouldn’t even want to write a paper about the thrills of a navy career and receive a big, fat F because your facts are all wrong.

Next, the second page included below says that women are not allowed on ships that may be involved in combat. If you’d like to read up on the Combat Exclusion Policy, you’ll see that it was just last year that it was completely lifted, but even in 1994 exemptions and updates were being made – and that was 17 years after this book was published. It was old before it was even old. Now it’s really old.

This topic is a great addition to a career collection, though, so do update it.

Hooyah!

-Holly

More Careers of Olde Tymes:

Vertical File Special: Careers

Coffee, Tea, or Me?

Attention, Girls! You too can have equal rights!

Be a Nurse

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