Guide to Evaluation of Library Collections cover

National Library Week Special-Professional Collection

Guide to the Evaluation of Library Collections
Collection Management and Development Guides
No. 2
Lockett, ed.
1989

This 1989 publication was sitting in a professional collection as of this writing. I would be surprised if anyone had even looked at this book in the last 20 years.

It is written in an organized format, like an outline. Easy for referencing, but boring in the way it looks. Obviously this one is much better. (Even though those lazy authors haven’t updated it for a new edition.)

You can already guess this one is long past it’s prime.

Time to weed the professional collection people!

Happy National Library Week

Libraries cover

National Library Week-Another book for the kids

Today’s National Library Week choice is this 1964 book about libraries that was still in circulation as of this writing. I was impressed that it actually didn’t look worse. Other than the yellowing pages, it is in pretty good shape. The text isn’t too bad, but it is rather dense for the kids. To a kid in 2021, this is really not helpful.

As a librarian, I have some comments. The lady on the in the illustration about the Mazarin Library really shouldn’t be leaning on the display like that. My first impression was that she was sleeping. In the final illustration of the “modern” library, some of the card catalog drawers are not closed properly. Is it too much to ask that people shut the drawers (gently, of course) when they are finished using the catalog? Also the card catalog seems to be a bit small and inconveniently placed for use. Finally, where are the golf pencils and scraps of paper? I’m getting a twitch looking at these illustrations.

libraries and how to use them

NLW-Libraries and how they work

Libraries and How to Use Them
Hardendorff
1979

Another library book about libraries. Although geared to kids, it is pretty text heavy and the illustrations are just okay. As much as I could appreciate some definitions of library jargon, this book probably has more depth in some pages than a library science textbook. All in all, it isn’t the worst, but it is woefully dated.

I also kept looking at the cover and thinking it was some kind of pattern, like a stained glass window. It took me a while to realize that the groovy cover really was a bunch of books on a shelf. In 1979, this book is decent but in 2021. Somebody should weed this and submit it as supplemental reading for an intro to library science course.

Check it out cover

National Library Week 2021-Check it Out!

Check It Out
The Book About Libraries”
Gibbons
1985

It’s time to let the kids know about how much fun it is at the library. This 1985 book is colorful does a nice job of library history and about the job of a librarian. Too bad this is about the library of the 1980s. Note the use of the card catalog and no computers. It’s a cute book, but it really needs an update.

Rule Breaker cover

NLW Special: Rule Breaker

Rule Breaker
Boswell
1990

In honor of National Library Week 2021, ALB is presenting some library and library-themed books. We are kicking off our week with a romance!

Our man of the hour, Rand Marshall, heard there was a children’s librarian named Jamie who turned down all the cool guys for dates. Rand was up for the challenge. Rand also has a secret identity as Brick Lawson, a best selling author of action thrillers that are wildly popular, but universally panned by the highbrow literary types.

Our meet cute starts with Rand hitting on our librarian by asking for a book by Brick Lawson. Of course, Jamie is all about quality literature and rolls her eyes at his request. (Very bad librarianship, Jamie – we don’t comment on customer choices).

naked in cyberspace cover

Naked in Cyberspace!

Naked in Cyberspace
Lane
2001

If this was 2001, I would be begging for this book! I was pretty new at librarianship and still figuring out the potential of databases and finding info. This was really for those folks doing background checks and competitive intelligence, but I would have loved to have something like this book on the desk with me in the early 2000s. Of course this book was out dated before too long. I have even tried to poke around to some of the websites and many are still good, but most are dead links or have been moved/combined into other sites.

Story of the Dictionary cover

Trippy Covers

The Story of the Dictionary
Kraske
1975

Submitter: Have to admit that I weeded Robert Kraske’s The Story of the Dictionary (March 1st 1975 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ) back in 2009, but I wonder how many of these titles with weird mid 1970s art are still hanging around school libraries. I looked at the spine of this one for a good ten years before I thought to look at the cover. Story of the Dictionary? Eh. Might be useful.

Reinforcing Reference Skills

Library Reference Activities for the Kids

Reinforcing Reference Skills
Activities that go beyond the encyclopedia
Benjamin
1986

A librarian pal of mine found this gem in the supposed “professional collection” as she cleaned out a cubicle for a new employee. Obviously no one had touched this in years, given the amount of dust and grime present. This one was catalogued and sat around for decades, unused.

Let me go back and harp on using a shelf list. Your system should allow you to dump your catalog into some kind of report. Do not run the shelf list for the entire library. Pick collections carefully. Even the largest libraries can break out collections into small chunks. Reorganize your list of books by date (oldest to newest) and take a look. Even this one small activity can yield some surprising results. (By the way, if you do this, please send us some pictures of any of your ridiculous finds.)

Happy National Library Week and stay well,

Mary