Hoarding is not collection development

Condition/Processing Fail

This category addresses those Awful Library Books that have a problem with condition or poor processing.

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Turn That Frown Upside Down

Hot Day on Abbott Avenue

Submitter: I am in the PZ’s in our collection (children’s fiction) doing shelf reading and collection development (a.k.a. weeding primarily) and found this beauty (note the sarcasm).  You never would have known the problem -until you opened the book.  The outside is in perfect condition, and has all the technical processing in the right order, including the pocket for the checkout card. What everyone failed to notice however, was that the entire block of text was put in UPSIDE DOWN!!!  It didn’t help that the end pages were of a solid yellow-orange color, masking the problem just on the other side.

The only reason why I found out was because I opened the text to see if it was worth keeping.  You see, being a rural community college, we don’t have the funding to be able to purchase fiction (unless it is part of a required/recommended reading list for a class, or a patron has requested that specific title –we try to honor patron requests when we get them, which isn’t that often-), so we tend to hold onto what we have far longer than its shelf life.  But sometimes if it just looks bad, or is just a badly written story, it won’t get checked out, and makes the shelves look bad, and harder to find the titles you DO want.

Holly: And THIS, my friends, is why a physical inventory is a must from time to time. Put your hands on the materials and don’t rely solely on ILS reports for weeding!  Side note: this book was not a bad choice for this library at all! Maybe the publisher would have replaced it if it had been noticed, say, ten years ago. Is it possible it checked out steadily for ten years and no one bothered to mention that it is printed upside down? At this point, IF it has been circulating steadily, I’d keep it. If it has gone ten years unnoticed and untouched, weed it.

More Processing Failures:

Immature Humor Alert

RIP Anne of Green Gables

When Bad Things Happen to Innocent Library Books

Try Not to Take it Out On the Book

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Submitter: I’m a librarian at an international school in Germany and I recently weeded this book from my school’s primary library. It’s not a bad book, per se, but it definitely does not belong in an elementary school collection.

Holly: This looks like a fun, cute book – that does not belong in an elementary school! Good call, submitter. Any German public librarians want to weigh in on its appropriateness for your adult collections? I can’t read the text.

More Processing and Cataloging Mistakes:


More Bad Processing

Immature Humor Alert

(cl)Ass Clown

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Immature Humor Alert!

Billy, the Condominium Cat

Submitter: “Billy, the Condominium Cat” – what could go wrong?

Holly:  This is a children’s book, so hopefully they won’t catch the joke because they won’t know what a condom is. On the other hand, they might think that’s really the title and go around asking people what a condom is.


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