Hoarding is not collection development

Spanning the Globe

This category includes all geography and travel related posts.

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Japan Expo Guide

Japan Expo ’70 Guide

Submitter: Another horribly outdated travel book. The sad thing is this actually circulated 10 years after the Expo! Even sadder is that it’s been sitting on the shelf for 30 more years. Imagine a deluxe hotel today going for $18 a night. We love the suggestion of packing a fur stole. We are a state library.

Holly: Cool book in 1970. By 1980 it was pretty much done-for. Now? Doorstop.


More Old Travel Guides:



It’s Up to You New York, New York

For Men With Yen


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Tobias Goes Seal Hunting

Tobias Goes Seal Hunting

Submitter: So we’ve had this book in my library for a while now, and I just haven’t been able to decide whether it’s a weeder or not. Circulation is pretty high, including in recent years. I’m just stuck, like, part of me thinks of dead baby seals and thinks this probably shouldn’t be in my children’s section. But the other part sees that it’s really informative and quite well done.  Thoughts?

Holly: I see what Submitter is saying. There is a segment of the population that will be horrified that the seal is killed and flensed (skinned. I googled it. That’s quite a word for a children’s book!) and eaten, and the steps are told and shown in detail. The dead seal floats next to the boat, they have trouble carrying it to shore because it is slippery and wet, and the Mom is shown slicing into its belly with a knife.

Others will recognize this as a cultural study of how things are done in the books’ setting of Greenland (and it does seem fairly accurate). They may even be glad to see a children’s book that illustrates responsible hunting. It’s not a sport in the book; it is a food source for Tobias’ family and the author doesn’t romanticize either the cute seal or the victory of the hunt. My thought is that this is meant for older children and it would be better cataloged as non-fiction than as a picture book, even though it is a fictional story.

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Strangers in a Strange Land

Strange Peoples and Stranger Customs

Submitter: Really, I think the title and cover say it all. But, just in case readers weren’t immediately alerted to the inappropriateness of this book for a current audience, there are gems like, “Some people have more culture than others.” Also, “Over in Africa, we find much the same strange situation. In the east African grasslands Negro and Negroid people have been cattle breeders for centuries. Yet milking is the chief economic use of livestock.” *gasp* They use cattle for milk? Also, photos 3 and 4 [below] are there for the lovely sentence comparing Shilluk men to poodles.

This book is weeded, now, and headed to a fate that its author would surely find strange: reincarnation (perhaps as toilet paper?).

Holly: Let’s not teach our children that people and customs are “strange.” This has no place in most public libraries. Replace it with something current that celebrates diversity!

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