Hoarding is not collection development

The Unexplained and Just Plain Crazy

Unexplained, aliens, ghosts, weird stuff, and of course the category defying label of WTF.

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Find that Water!

The Beginner’s Handbook of Dowsing
Baum
1974

Submitter: Not one but TWO schools in our district weeded this title in December 2014.

Beyond the fact that it is 40 years old, we both wondered: “What the heck? Was there a dowsing club in our small town? Was there a fire sale on dowsing books in the mid seventies, and both the middle and high school librarians decided they just had to round out their fluvial sections with a dowsing book?”

And most entertaining (to me), was that the middle school librarian weeded this title in December and sent me a picture in disbelieve that it was on her shelves. I laughed to myself thinking, “My god, does she never weed? How is this book on the shelves?” And I found the very same book on MY shelves (high school library) only two weeks later. She’s been at that school 3 months. I’ve been at my school 13 years. MY BAD.

ps. Sorry we don’t have any scanned pages to include. We both tossed this book so fast that we have no evidence…

 

Holly: Mary and I used to work at a public library where a dowsing club met regularly, and this book probably would have done well there, even though it’s 41 years old. It is an odd choice for a middle or high school library, for sure. Every time I weed I find something I shake my head at and wonder how I possibly missed it last time, when it hasn’t weeded in forever. Good catch!

Mary: Fear not! I found a copy in a local library and scanned few interior pages. I still don’t get the whole dowsing thing, but I do like a browse in the 100s for my dose of weirdness.

From the 100s:

Spaceship Moon

I Want To Believe!

Out of the Body or Out of the Library?

“You are such a tight ass” (Don’t miss this awesome example of awfulness!)

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Spaceship Moon

Our Mysterious Spaceship Moon
Wilson
1975

Submitter: I decided to check this book out when I saw it in the nonfiction section. Yes, the nonfiction section. I read the back and just started laughing. The funniest thing about this book is how serious the author is. He ACTUALLY BELIEVES that the moon is a hollow alien spaceship and lists like 5 billion reasons to try to prove that that is true, and is completely serious the entire time. Note that this book was written AFTER the first astronauts landed on the moon. I was laughing the entire time.

Holly: To each their own, and this would circulate well in many public libraries, but 1975 is definitely pushing it. There’s this, though: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaceship_Moon_Theory

 

 

 

More Alien Adventures:

Aliens Identified

I Want to Believe

More UFO Books

One Step Beyond

Rover is a Ghost

Animals on the Other Side
Browne & Dufresne
2005

Submitter: Psychic Sylvia Browne and her son team up for this bizarre picture book.  On the left side of each two-page spread, an image of Browne’s now-dead dog frolicking in the afterlife. Apparently, this book is meant to teach children about the death of pets, from a psychic/spirit world point of view. On the right-hand side of the spread, an explanation, alternating by Browne or son, with a more detailed description of issues in animal afterlife studies. You can learn why animals who are prey and predator on earth get along fine in the afterlife, or why there are no animal ghosts. Heavy stuff. So is this a kids book or an adult book? The “children’s side” of the book isn’t really written with the kind of vocabulary you’d expect in a picture book, and it has no story or other hook. The images are unimaginative literal replicas of the text. My library has this catalogued in the adult section, no doubt to avoid either parent complaints or child trauma. Sadly, it circs well and is in fine condition (I seriously doubt any child has used this book), so I’m not weeding it. It is awful, and it’s staying put.

Holly: Every now and then we like a good,  old fashioned collection development discussion here at ALB. I’m posting this one for discussion value, not because I think it’s an awful library book. I’ll go first: I’d put it in adult non-fiction with Browne’s other books and keep it until people forget who Sylvia Browne was or until it falls apart – whichever comes first.

RIP, Ms. Browne. See you on the other…hey, wait a minute…

 

More on the Unexplained:

Out of Body or Out of the Library

The Urantia Book

Secrets of Stonehenge

How to Make ESP Work for You

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