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a very clear answer to the difficult question many libraries with tight budgets struggle with: Is it better to have an outdated item on a topic, rather than no items on a topic?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.
Yes, this is a humor book. And it’s funny! It is a board book that suggests that Baby should take over the family’s finances. Open a new account! Apply for a home equity loan! And a penny for baby’s trouble. Baby didn’t have anything better to do, after all.
This is weird, for sure, but cute that it’s a board book as if it’s really “for” a baby. What will they think of next?
Submitter: The cover image attached features an endearing but very old lady who looks way too much like my grandma. I saw this one and laughed because I could just imagine talking to my grandma about condoms, wet dreams, masturbation… (shudder) The details in the book are surprisingly sensitive and well-written, so it was a hard decision to weed it. Ultimately I weeded it because it’s dated, in both appearance and content. I’m also enclosing one page from the section on contraception that shows how dated it is. Time to put this grandma out to pasture and make way for all the other beautifully-illustrated books we’ve gotten recently on sex and puberty.
Holly: The image below may or may not be NSFW, depending on your workplace. Dr. Ruth talks very candidly, with pictures, about contraception in that one. Dr. Ruth Westheimer is 88 years old, and while she is still alive, I don’t know that she is still the person kids turn to for answers about sex. (Or is she? I don’t have kids, and I’m not a children’s librarian either. What say you, parents and youth librarians?) She was absolutely groundbreaking, totally approachable and frank and honest. I’m curious to know if Submitter is familiar with Dr. Ruth? The submission is totally true – she looks like a very nice grandma, but I can’t tell if Submitter is aware of who Dr. Ruth is or not. This book was published in 1993, and I am a child of the 1980s, but this image is exactly how I will always think of Dr. Ruth. I would have asked her anything and not been embarrassed. She was that good at what she did. In fact, it was almost because she looks like a nice grandma that she was so approachable. That said, I’d probably still weed this book. There are different contraceptive options available these days, for one thing.