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Hoarding is not collection development

But it’s Historical!

Old stuff, textbooks, past events, etc.

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Making Your Living is Fun

Making Your Living is Fun
Aitken
1959

Submitter: We weeded this from the [Public Library], which serves a community of 109,000. This was in our 800s, which are notoriously hard to weed. I think it would have been gone a lot sooner if it was in the 300s. Seems to pre-date CIP so must have been a Cataloguer’s call!

Holly: The subject heading for this book is “success” and the Dewey call number is 818.5. I agree with submitter that this is a strange combination – but I’m not a cataloger and they have their secret ways. Aside from the fact that this is about the most boring thing I’ve ever seen (NOT the reason to weed it, just a personal observation), it is 55 years old. Success in 2014 is not the same as success in 1959. I skimmed through the [yellowed] pages submitted and I still don’t really get the point. Is it just stories about people doing various things for a living? To it’s credit, it seems to include women. I don’t see public library patrons clamoring onto a hold list for this, so it’s probably a safe weed.

More Boring Old Tomes from Yesteryear:

ABC Book of Early Americana

Teachers of Destruction

Think Green!

From Gasbags to Spaceships

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Wigwam and Warpath

Wigwam and Warpath
Juergens
1936

Submitter: I’ve been the director here at the public library for two years, and I finally made it to the 900s in my weeding project. There have been some real doozies in the collection, but last week I came across one that really takes the cake.

Wigwam and Warpath by Isabel Juergens is a 1936 book of “Minute Stories of the American Indian.” And it is wincingly racist in the way that only a well-intentioned book of Indian stories from 1936 can be. I am so embarrassed that it was still in our juvenile fiction collection! The section I’ve scanned on the “origin of the Indians” is particularly awesome.

It last circulated in 2006.

Holly: These books belong in an archive, museum, or special collection somewhere…not a public library children’s collection. If you’re just starting a long-needed weeding project, my advice is to clear out the 390s and 970s first! You’ll make a big dent and save yourself from a potential PR nightmare (as well as sincerely hurting someone’s feelings!) if you clear out books like this first.  They’re usually so obvious that you won’t have to think too hard about keep-or-weed, too.

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ABC Book of Early Americana

ABC Book of Early Americana: A Sketchbook of Antiquities and American Firsts
Sloane
1963

Submitter: Boring from A to Z.  Plus it smells like it came from early America.

Holly: It’s a keeper for historical collections, but your average public library can let it go – especially if it smells bad. Mold spreads, you know…

But It’s Historical!:

Cotton and the Spinner

“Modern” World

Peace, Love, and Flower Power

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