Hoarding is not collection development
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Making a Collection Count
PLA Weeding Manual

Celebrity Gossip and Advice

This category includes biography and all those great advice books. Because when a celebrity does something, you will want to do that too!

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Rush Limbaugh, the prophet

Rush Limbaugh and the Bible coverRush Limbaugh and the Bible
Evearitt
1993

Submitter: An entire book that is a treatise on proving that Rush Limbaugh is a “prophet of political conservatism in America.” (page 15) Yet, there is this pesky quote of Rush’s, “The show is devoted exclusively to what I think. I do not attempt to find out what the people of the country are thinking.” This book is filled with with gems that bring people together such as The White Man’s Burden, homosexuals portraying themselves as victims and women not being fit to serve in the military.

The coup de grâce is this quote “So multiculturalism, which portrays American history and even all of Western civilization as nothing but misery and racist, sexist, capitalist oppression, is the tool of revenge of man who have failed to assimilate and fit into the mainstream American Life.”

Holly: Before everyone piles on, and I’m sure Submitter would agree, this book was probably not the worst choice for a public library serving a politically conservative, Christian community in the early 1990s. In fact, any public library building a truly viewpoint-balanced collection in the 90s, no matter what demographics they served, might have had this. That said, Submitter’s examples are definitely eyebrow-raising for many (myself included, although that is honestly beside the point). I’d weed it because it is old and no longer circulating, not because I disagree with its contents.

 

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KnoWhutIMean Vern?

Ask Ernest coverAsk Ernest!: What, When, Where, Why, Who Cares
Worrell (fictional character)
1993

Submitter: Here is a poster child for the importance of weeding your library’s humor section. Helpfully, the book’s subtitle asks many of the relevant questions I had about it being in our collection, such as why? Why was this book ever printed? What? What was someone thinking when they bought it? Who cares? This dated gem hadn’t circulated in over a decade, so I guess the answer is no one. From a public library.

Holly: Ernest P. Worrell was pretty darn funny to middle schoolers everywhere in the 80s. (Ok, to adults too, though they might not admit it.) Sadly, Jim Varney, who played Ernest, died of lung cancer in 2000. In other words, kids today grew up in a world without Ernest and Vern and this book is only valuable to nostalgic adults. It wasn’t a horrible choice for a public library in 1993, but it definitely had a limited shelf life and could have been weeded shortly after Varney’s death.  Also, I’m bothered by the typo in the last image below.

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When a Man Loves a Woman and a Librarian Loves Weeding

Michael Bolton cover

Michael Bolton: Time, Love, and Tenderness
Randall
1993

Submitter: I started a new job at a small two-year college about a month ago, and most of my work so far has been figuring out just how bad the collection really is. The prior library director saw fit to have this 1993 fan publication library-bound to ensure its longevity. Thank goodness! It’s in pretty much pristine condition. Which it should be since it’s never circulated. Most pages feature a picture or six of MB–wearing different outfits, in the company of various starlets, playing softball. Very useful for your first year economics class or something.

Holly: I’d like to say that this is the first Michael Bolton book we’ve featured on ALB, but it isn’t. It is, however, the oldest! Why on earth would the Director bind something like this? Don’t let that stop you from weeding it, though. Better question: why would a two-year college have it in the collection at all?

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