Hoarding is not collection development

But it’s Historical!

Old stuff, textbooks, past events, etc.

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Great American Negroes

Great American Negroes
1945, 1956

Submitter: This year, the school I work at decided to start a book club where we are reading a book about helping students become better readers. We were discussing the sorry state of our high school library and I mentioned how half the books could go on the blog Awful Library Books. At the end of the book club I said I was going to find a truly awful book. One of the first books I grabbed was “Great American Negroes,” by Ben Richardson. We were horrified and decided we could weed this one ourselves. The spine is truly awful.

Holly: Yes, it is. It isn’t 1956 any more, people. There isn’t much reason for a high school library to hang on to something like this. It went from a celebration of a culture of great people to downright disrespectful. There is rarely a reason to keep something “because it’s historical” in a high school library. It’s not a museum.



More Historical Horrors:

Great Negroes Past and Present

Wigwam and Warpath

Cotton and the Spinner

Must We Bus?

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Be Prepared!

Boy Scout Handbook
Boy Scouts of America

Submitter:  My son brought back a book from his elementary school library that is just awful. The library is nice, they just completely remodeled it with a grant from Target, but some of the books on the shelf have been there since almost when the school opened in 1955. This one was old when I went to school there in the 1980’s and is ancient now! My son was looking for a book on knot-tying, so he brought home the Boy Scouts manual, but it is a 1964 edition and the last 20 or so pages are mostly ads for guns!

Holly: This is just laziness. I can’t believe that any library worker truly believes that this book is valuable to a modern-day elementary school library. It’s cool in a nostalgia kind of way, but that doesn’t make it useful. The first image below advises young men who “cause emissions themselves” to avoid things that make them worry. And such behavior may cause them to worry…so they really shouldn’t do that. The gun ads are probably not in modern Boy Scout handbooks either, though I don’t know that to be a fact. Boy Scouts? Want to weigh in?

More Books for Boys:

Boys in the Kitchen

Boys, do you have a “calling”?

Gender Specific Survival

Don’t Let Someone Kick Sand in Your Face!

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History of Nursing

Goodnow’s History of Nursing
11th edition
Dolan, R.N., M.S.

Submitter: This book was just weeded from my medium-sized public library’s collection from rural central Ohio. It was last used in 2012! All of the sides are frayed and showing the material underneath the colored covering. It does have a lot of information on ancient nursing and the progression into the first half of the 20th century. Which would be very useful, for when it was published. Now the section on current events in nursing is over fifty years old! It ends, before the index, with the most recent achievement in nursing, creation of the Peace Corps (One of the photos). That this was used as late as 2012 is very distressing. I’m not sure why this book wasn’t removed earlier.

Holly: The ancient nursing section could be interesting, but there must be a more recently published, all-encompassing history of nursing available. And if there isn’t, a combination of this and this and even this might work for most public library users (maybe not college students, but this was submitted by a public library). In fact, a quick tour of Google Books brings up the full text of this very book, and doesn’t take up a single inch of shelf space.

More Nursing History:

I Can Be a Nurse

Be a Nurse

Cherry Ames

Donations Gone Wrong

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