Hoarding is not collection development
Taking Your Library Career to the Next Level
PLA Weeding Manual
Making a Collection Count


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Easter Eggs for Everyone

Easter Eggs for Everyone coverEaster Eggs for Everyone

Submitter: It’s more than you would ever want to know about decorating Easter eggs (including Egg Lore and Legends and Egg Customs), and it has some very non-PC text. Intro page is cleverly shaped like an egg (see photo) but you get to the second paragraph and…

Easter eggs for the retarded

Under the heading Easter Eggs and the Special Child: the “seriously handicapped need not be deprived…”
And later still (see photo), simple decorations “for use with ‘small people’”!   So I’m guessing that would be children?
Page 31-“an artistically inclined housewife, feeling trapped in the suburbs, might get just the lift she needs by trying peephole eggs…” [eyebrow raise]
Page 44-“children who are not feeling well should not assist in egg-blowing.” DUH.

Holly: Those are some pretty specific examples, but they did say everyone! The cover looks like it might be a really cool book. This is a good reminder that even books about seemingly innocuous subjects like crafts need to be considered in light of current sensibilities.

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For the Birds

Birds of North America coverA Guide to Field Identification: Birds of North America
Robbins, Bruun, and Zim

Submitter: In addition to being a librarian, I’m a bird geek – and being a librarian bird geek, I have a long-standing personal beef with out-of-date field guides. This doesn’t mean beautiful, illustrated classics like Audubon, but a basic guide you would borrow to take on a hike. Recent genetic research has made sweeping changes to the taxonomic order of birds – this lists species in an evolutionary sequence from most ancient to most modern. Every serious bird field guide is organized in taxonomic order. There have also been many changes to both the scientific (i.e. Latin) and common names of birds… and unlike most living things, birds have official, standardized names (in English at least). Example: on page 58 of this guide, you will find a duck called “Oldsquaw.” What you won’t find in this 1966 Golden edition is that the name Oldsquaw – which bats for the triple on ageism, sexism and racism – was changed decades ago to “Long-tailed Duck.” This book also contains “Traill’s Flycatcher,” which has been split into several species, and five different types of sparrows called Juncos. Our Juncos have long since been lumped together into one species – Dark-eyed Junco. The saddest part of this story is: this book was added to the collection of my small public library (not by me!) around *2008* when this edition was *already* hopelessly out of date. ‘Bye, Felicia. Do your public library patrons a favor and conduct the Oldsquaw/Traill’s/Junco test on your bird guides.

Holly: I don’t think it takes a bird geek to figure out that you don’t add a 1966 field guide to a small public library collection in 2008. Submitter points out all the reasons why bird geeks will think this is ridiculous – and it is.

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A Bible Story for the Kids

I am Joseph coverI Am Joseph

Submitter: I am a fan of Barbara Cohen, author of such classics as The Carp in the Bathtub and Molly’s Pilgrim, but this is not an appropriate picture book for children! The complex sentence structure! The language! The illustrations! Who thought this was a good idea?! I have nothing against retelling Bible stories as children’s books, but there must be cleaner versions of Joseph’s story! This one reads like a romance novel!

Some of my favorite excerpts:

Judah, to his brothers, about what to do with Joseph after they’ve tied him up and thrown him naked into a pit: “‘If we leave our brother here to die, it’s the same as if we killed him with our own hands. Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, so that we’re not guilty of murder. For, after all, he is our brother, our own flesh.’ ‘Besides,’ Asher said, ‘if we sell him, there’s profit in it for us.’”

Joseph, describing his master’s wife: “He had a wife who was much younger than he, and very beautiful. She wore transparent dresses, like a prostitute, and heavy collars of gold around her neck … Her nearly naked body would brush against mine, and I could smell her musky perfume.”

The wife repeatedly propositions Joseph until finally: “She reached out her hand and grasped the knot by which my loincloth was held in place. ‘Lie with me, Joseph,’ she said yet again. She pulled at the knot, it came undone, and my loincloth was in her hand. Her eyes grew wide as she beheld my nakedness, but I, not sure of the strength of my own will, turned as quickly as I could and fled away from her.”

Holly: Bible meets 50 Shades? This was found in a nonsectarian private school library, but it is most definitely not elementary school material!

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