Hoarding is not collection development

But it’s Historical!

Old stuff, textbooks, past events, etc.

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The Pioneers

The Pioneers: The Picture Story of Canadian Settlement
McClelland and Stewart

Submitter: The non-fiction section of our school library in Quebec hasn’t been weeded since…well, ever, so now that we’re undertaking it there have been good pickings. We came across this book in the Canadian history section. It was allegedly about pioneer settlement of the Canadian frontier, but apparently the Canadian frontier was settled by creepy dolls. The one in the middle with blonde hair and blue eyes is a whole new level of terrifying.

Despite its 1968 publication date, this book actually contains a lot of information that could still be useful, but nobody has checked it out since the 70s. Maybe the nightmare-inducing cover had something to do with it?

Holly: There is something about old dolls, isn’t there? This is an odd cover for the book. Either someone was trying to be clever by representing pioneers with dolls from the era, or they are actual dolls brought by actual pioneers and it is somehow relevant to the book’s content. Old photos of actual pioneers would have been better, or maybe a daily-life artifact of the time that doesn’t stare at you with disapproving glass eyes.Verdict: I’d keep the book (unless the same info is available in a book that people seem to like better, since this one hasn’t been checked out in 40 years) but it is a strange cover.

More Strange Covers:

Computers A to Z

Hawaii: Paradise or Polar?

Evolving Cover Art

WTF Cover Art: Timepivot


Not Your Mama’s Drama

Dramatized classics for Radio-style reading

Submitter: From a public middle school library with a lot of outdated books – especially in poetry and drama. We are in the process of weeding the entire library.

Holly: I don’t even have much to say about this other than BORRRRING. As you can see from the contents below, there are some good classic titles here, but how many schools do radio-style readings? It’s not the worst thing ever for classroom performances or dramatic reading, but kids will not be very excited about it.  I guess if the objective is to introduce them to classics and talk about old-timey radio shows this would work. Reader’s Theater is a more contemporary take on this idea, though. Unless the teachers insist, it’s probably a safe weed.


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When the Wind Blows

When The Wind Blows

Submitter: It is a book about the atomic bomb, and trying to survive it. It is British, with British slang, and I think not even some adults in America could understand some of the slang (at least one of our shelvers didn’t know the meaning of “ duck,” “ducks,” or “duckies” in British slang. -Funny thing- at one point the guy says “Blimey” and his wife scolds him for language). Not knocking the British, but not the best book to have in an American small rural community college. The Ruskies are the bad guys (and very stereotypical imagery too, including stereotypical imagery for major WWII people).

Secondly it is all about this retired couple that remembers WWII, and is comparing repeatedly (sometimes with fondness) what it was like during WWII, against the current situation. Also the couple repeatedly correct themselves with them thinking it is WWII all over and getting their terms right.

The couple bickers A LOT, over the stupid stuff, and this book doesn’t seem to have a clear goal as to what the story is supposed to be. Other than show what thoughts happen during times like this, and to show them die? Not a very good plot line, in my opinion.

It has never been checked out, and was published in 1982…. and yet, for it not being checked out, is rather worn.

Holly: I know you can’t read the pages included (below), but you get the idea of its format. If it has never been checked out in 32 years, I think that’s reason enough to weed it!

More Bad History:

Atom Bomb

Break Out the Borscht

The End of the World

Better Red Than Dead

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