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Making a Collection Count

Spanning the Globe

This category includes all geography and travel related posts.

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Bogota or Bust

The Land and People of Columbia
Landry
1970

Submitter: This book is older than dirt, has no color pictures, and has some racist overtones. Because it is from 1970, some of the language is dated and inappropriate. There are plenty of ways to deal with complicated history in an age appropriate manner. Here’s a sample of the text: “By 1700, whatever the cause may have been, the Chibchas had replaced their own language with Spanish and had largely abandoned their old religion to become pious and devoted Christians. They were relatively peacefully assimilated into the ways of the Spanish, and many, through their marriages with whites, lost their Indian identity; their children of mixed blood form the largest blood strain in Columbia today. (Racial prejudice has never been a strong factor in Columbia’s life and history.)–page 46

Holly: Country books have a life span of maybe ten years. Maaayyybe twenty years in some cases. A book about the land and people of the United States, written in 1970, would include images and attitudes that no longer represent what our country is really like. Why, then, is it OK to have books about other countries that are 40+ years old? Answer: it isn’t. This is a juvenile book, so isn’t it important that children learn about countries and cultures respectfully, appropriately, and – oh, I don’t know – accurately?

More Country Studies:

Vietnam Policy for Kids

Land of Enchantment

Will the Soviet Union Survive?

Jungle Life

Grecian Vacation

Oh Canada!

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Imelda and Her Shoes

Imelda
Steel Butterfly of the Philippines
Ellison
1988

Those of us paying attention in the 80s remember when Imelda Marcos ruled the news with her Hollywood ties, wealth and power. She probably defined the word excess in a way that no reality star could touch today. The politics, murder and excess of this time was like a live version of the television show Scandal.

Does she deserve a biography? Absolutely! I would love to see a newer one. When this was published she and Ferdinand were in exile in Hawaii. In only a few years after this was published, Ferdinand died and the trial and money still was in play.

Mary

Related posts:

Trump This

Keeping American Safe for Democracy

 

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Coming Collapse of China

The Coming Collapse of China
Chang
2001

Submitter: Books that prognosticate are in a category of their own as far as weeding is concerned. How ridiculous this claim now looks. Note it was 2001 when this author claimed China would collapse in five to ten years. The problem is that these books are scattered throughout the collection, without a unifying subject heading or even a recurring title keyword to help you find them. The only solution is frequent, thorough weeding of every section. From the Mayan calendar in 001.9 to this gem in 951, I’ve had a busy week weeding old predictions that failed to come true.

Holly: These are fun to look at after the fact, but for a truly relevant collection, feel free to weed them when the prediction fails. In many cases, you can weed it even if the prediction holds true. Unless Mr. Chang’s work is still popular or important in your library, most of us can let go of this book.

More Predictions:

The AI Business

Future Libraries

Space: Battleground of the Future

Living in the Future

The Future is HERE

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