Hoarding is not collection development

Librarian’s Choice

This is Mary and Holly’s catch-all category. Here we feature posts about librarians and libraries as well as just some cool stuff we find. This also where you will find more serious discussions of collection management.

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English Teachers and Dirty Stuff

Obscenity, The Law, And The English Teacher
National Council of Teachers of English
1966

I plucked this one from the catalog of a small/medium sized public library. Let’s face it, the word obscenity always gets my attention. Think of this as “catalog click-bait.”

This is a summary of a couple of conference papers from 1966. I did find it amusing that a lot of the debate centered on the literary merit of books like Tropic of Cancer and Fanny Hill.

I did have time to read a couple of the articles and skim the rest. Sorry, there is no nudity and any sexual references are so boring and sanitized, I wasn’t sure they were talking about dirty books. When teachers and librarians have to deal with issues with censorship, along with the sheer volume of crap on the Internet, this really is a book out of time.

Mary

 

More Dirty Stuff on ALB:

The Bandit Bares It (a fan favorite of ALB!)

Bread Sculpture

Pirate Sex

Real Auto Erotica! (NSFW)

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Your Friday Funny: Nuclear War Fun Book

The Nuclear War Fun Book
Langer and Thomas
1982

Didn’t have any cool fiction to share this week, but I did find this in my pile of weird books. I really didn’t expect to find this book still hanging around in a library, but I was wrong. WorldCat has a bunch of holdings and many are in public libraries. This humor book is certainly a product of the time. I was of the generation that hid under school desks in order to avoid The Bomb. This cracks me up. After you survive the atomic bomb from this book, you can get all your post nuclear holocaust activities and fun in this one.

It’s a blast!

Mary

More nuclear fun:

The End of The World

The Upside of Nuclear War

Russian Phrase Book

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Another ALA Special: Future Libraries

Future Libraries: Dreams Madness & Reality
Crawford and Gorman
1995

What does the future hold in libraries? Well, pretty much what the authors suggested. This book was written in 1995, so we are now their future. (Woah! That was deep!) Libraries still have staff, walls, and collections. Sure, sure, sure…there are libraries without books, but they’re not the norm. Back in 1995, the authors spoke out against virtual libraries. It’s not that they didn’t like technology or didn’t see technology as part of the future of libraries. It’s that they did not believe that technology would – or should – replace physical libraries. People need the “complementing values” that print, buildings, and librarians-in-the-flesh provide.  I really like the thesis of this book, and they were really onto something. What’s hot in libraries these days? Community spaces, technology training opportunities, and librarians as trainers and facilitators of information in all of its formats.

Why, then is this an awful library book? Because it’s no longer the future! It’s the present! It needs to be revised and updated to be relevant again. There are some old-fashioned ideas, like “Men appear to be more prone to [technolust] than women” (pg 36) and examples of CD-ROMs, microfiche, diskettes, and cassettes (pg 39).  They even discuss at what point LCD will really exceed CRT. (Answer: When a 15-inch 800-by-600 LCD able to display at least 64,000 simultaneous colors costs less than $500.) These were reasonable examples in 1995, but must be updated to be relevant today.

So, weed away! Mr. Gorman is a past ALA president, and both he and Mr. Crawford are still active in librarianship. Publish an update, please!

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