Hoarding is not collection development
Follow us on:
Making a Collection Count

Four Years Later: The Soviet Union

Soviet Union

Four years ago today, Holly and I launched Awful Library Books to share our love of the crazy, weird stuff found in the library. Who knew it would grow into this giant project!  Four years later we STILL have to convince people that weeding is important to collection management.  Sigh…  Anyway, in celebration of our anniversary, I wondered if that title from our very first post was still inside someone’s collection.  I am sad to report it is in the same collection where I found it four years ago.  I guess our crusade about collection quality is not finished quite yet.

So, Happy Birthday Awful Library Books, and many thanks to those who make this project possible:

The Husbands, who tolerate piles of old crap at the ALB home offices, and who even humor us with a click on the site every now and again.

Alex B., our intrepid computer advisor, now working for the man in corporate America.  In 2009, we could buy his help for beer and pizza.

Our co-workers, past and present, who have tolerated this weird obsession with old books, and even supplied many titles over the years.  Particularly, I want to thank Cathy C. who has been so wonderful at expediting the ILL process for us.

Jason at LitBreaker, who helped us get some advertising so we could actually afford to do this project.

Finally, this site is nothing without our readership.  We have both learned a lot from the comments and insights you have all brought to this crazy discussion on collection management.

Thank You Everyone!

Mary and Holly


14 Responses to Four Years Later: The Soviet Union

  • ve vill bury you vis awful library books!

  • Happy Birthday, ALB! And many thanks to Holly and Mary.

  • Happy Birthday, ALB! Thanks for the laughs…and the occasional shudders at what is on the shelves in Libraryland.

  • In Soviet Russia, library books weed you.

    Happy Birthday!

  • Happy Birthday! Thanks for letting me vent about my library…

  • Happy Birthday, ALB. Weeding IS important. If my 3rd grader saw this book, she would probably think that the Soviet Union is something new that was recently formed.

  • Happy Birthday, Holly and Mary!

    I visit ALB every day and your posts have given me and my library colleagues so much joy over the years. You have also given me a kick in the rear once or twice as I looked in my library system’s own collection to find the very book you were talking about that day. I love to read about your and your readers’ submissions. What more can I say but thank-you for four years of happy moments at your site.

  • ALB is 4 years old today, and I have a 3.5-year-old and an MLIS that I didn’t have when ALB started! We all must have been busy!

  • Happy Birthday, ALB!!!

    I still remember when Mary told me about starting the blog as an introduction to WordPress when we were working on desk years ago. Congrats on making it into something that starts awesome conversations about collection development AND is absolutely hilarious at the same time- not an easy feat. 🙂


  • Happy Birthday, ALB! Your awfulness always puts a bright spot on my day.

  • For those of us who love books (and are there any librarians who don’t?), weeding is possibly the hardest job. It hurts one’s very soul to, essentially, drop a book in the trash. And yet … it must be done. One cannot archive everything. Thank you for an important and entertaining addition to library services. Happy birthday!

  • Happy Birthday ALB!! Thank you for the daily chuckles and the constant encouragement to fight the good fight against the antiquated, the outdated, and the carbon-dated!

  • Congrats on four great years! Here’s to many more filled with funny, outdated, and just plain bizarre books!

  • happy birthday, ALB. as a voracious reader (and someone who always wanted to work in a library), i love reading your posts!!!