Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

Lifestyles of the Ancient Britons

The Ancient Britons

Submitter: This was found in the library at the small UK primary school (ages 3-11) where I teach. We have a wide variety of history resources and I had no hesitation in weeding this one. The information is inaccurate, and terribly wishy-washy – there’s no dates anywhere in the book! The drawings are awful (why the moustaches? Why??) and despite the huge range of archaeological evidence for Stone and Iron Age Britain, there’s only two small photographs of (rare) gold ornaments. Finally, it’s just plain out-of-date – there’s been too many advances in our knowledge of that time period in the last 27 years for this to be of any use. (And no, kids, do NOT paint yourself with blue poster paint…) The Anglo-Saxons are a big part of the Key Stage 2 (grades 3-6) curriculum and as a former archaeologist I’d be horrified to think our pupils were using this as a resource!

Holly: I can see some parents getting worked up about some of the content. There are obviously loud, drunk men and an emphasis on the fact that they drank “huge amounts of beer” (third picture below), as well as the Druid with the skulls and the dead guy (well, bloody anyway…) on the ground (fourth picture below). As Submitter mentioned, it’s too old to be useful, so it’s got to go.

More Awful History:

Wigwam and Warpath

ABC Book of Early Americana

“Modern” World

The Cold War

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Tie Dye Art

Tie And Dye as a Present Day Craft

Submitter: This came back in the shipment today, which means it’s still circulating! It’s the only copy left in our system. The other five are marked as lost. It’s circulated a total of 53 times since being re-added to the system in 2003. And of course, what few pictures there are are in black and white, but it’s mostly illustrations!

I mean, yes, tie dye is still popular and there’s some good stuff in there – but color pictures would be nice and there’s new products out there by now to make it even easier. While some of the things in this book might no longer exist!

Holly: This seems to be a book for serious tie-dyers! If you want to really design some fancy tie-dye, there’s all kinds of designs and techniques. In that regard, I can see having one copy available in large public libraries. But FIVE? If space is at a premium at your library and you have some teens who want to tie dye some t-shirts, there are plenty of more current options out there. Weed this in favor of something a little more colorful and less complicated. Tie dye really has stood the test of time better than some 60′s crafts. Whenever it is offered at our library as a program it is very popular.

More Crap (I Mean Crafts):

Men, Dogs, and Knitting

Royal Knitting

Tin Can Crafts

Please Throw It Away!

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Friday Fiction – Fear Street

Cheerleaders: The Third Evil
Fear Street

Submitter: My middle school students love the Goosebumps series, but this little gem hasn’t left the shelves since 2005. I think the line on the front is my favorite: “Fight, fight, fight or die, die, die!” Sounds like a great companion to a B horror movie like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

Holly: I remember when these were popular. It’s hard to believe this one was 22 years ago! In most cases I would say these are an easy weeder if they don’t circulate anymore. However… R.L. Stine is apparently bringing these back in October 2014, so you might want to hang onto them for the resurgence in popularity. That said, I would only give them one more school year to show some circulation action. If your students aren’t into it, move on to something else.


More Teen Fiction:

Friday Fiction: Girl Gives Birth to Own Prom Date

Friday Fiction: The Town is On Fire

Friday Fiction: Paul Zindel

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