Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development


My Learn to Swim Book

My Learn To Swim Book

Submitter: Where to begin? First, there’s the obvious (to me) idiocy of encouraging children to take on a DIY approach in learning a potentially dangerous activity like swimming. It’s actually got rather clear, well-thought-out instructions. The problem is more that with the exception of a couple brief mentions of having other people nearby, the zippy can-do text conveys the impression that it’s no big deal to jump in a pool alone and learn to swim. In the introduction (which children always read!) the author tells readers that “with the help of a grown-up you will learn many useful skills…,” but that’s the only reference I could find to adult supervision.

Then, there’s the old “don’t take books anywhere near water” issue, which seems particularly relevant to learning to swim from a library book. Which is worse: getting pool water all over the learn-to-swim library book, or thinking as you start to sink “Crap! What do I do next? I need the book!”

I’m all for self-teaching and learning from books, but some things you just have to learn through experience, with somebody else’s help.

Holly: Not to mention it’s 40 years old. The real-people pictures are terribly dated. I’m fine with the idea of having books for kids on learning to swim, but there are plenty more up-to-date books on this topic. The Submitter is from a school library where there may be different liabilities than at public libraries. We leave it up to parents to choose for their children and supervise the use of the materials. I can understand if schools need to be more careful about the materials they make available. I would think a book like this at least needs to have current safety standards.

Continue reading


Cheap Date Handbook

Cheap Date Handbook
The Complete How-To Guide To Successful Inexpensive Dating

Men, your wishes are about to come true, because Mr. Brown has all the answers to your cheap dating needs. In this simple handbook, Bruce breaks it down for you.  Why waste your money when all the ladies want is a little attention. In the first pic below, our man Bruce has got the inside secrets on sex. First stop, the library! While you are there, check out your friendly helpful reference librarian.

Sex isn’t all Brown discusses. There are real strategies to cheap dating. Free concerts are available and if you time picking her up, you won’t have to buy dinner! Choose snacks and coffee instead of expensive meals. Brown also suggests using your past dates as a referral service. This gal didn’t work out for you? Maybe she has a friend!

In picture 3 below, we have some rules for a “thank you” after a date and or sex. A note is so romantic! Write down some poetry (don’t forget the library is your best dating resource!) best of all, next time you fly, buy some traveller’s insurance and make her the beneficiary. I guess you want your date to root for a plane crash so she can cash in. Super romantic.

Mr. Brown thoughtfully includes a chart to evaluate and keep track of your cheap dates. Got to love a guy who is into cataloging and organizing information! Finally, the last picture (potentially NSFW) is an example of the pictures at the beginning of each chapter.  No book on dating would be any good without a few sexy pictures of the ladies.

Heading to the shower to get the sleaze off now…


Continue reading


Angel Threads

Angel Threads

Submitter: Page after page of hand drawn patterns. In our age of Pinterest, this book is a joke. I am especially horrified by the “Dishcloth Suit” illustrations. No idea why one of our staff looked at this and thought it should go back on the shelf. I’m sure there’s a place for books like this but our popular sewing section is not that place.

Holly: It’s cute, and that’s fine if you’ve got the space in your library. If you’re making hard choices for space concerns, cute doesn’t cut it. I don’t know the first thing about sewing; is this practical or is it supposed to be more inspirational?

Continue reading