Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

… living in a van, down by the river

How to Live in Your Van and Love It
Poteet
1976

​Submitter: Fun SNL shout-out aside, this book is now useless and has been for many years. It is primarily a directory of equipment and where to find it.  And that isn’t a bad scan at the end there – the photos really are that dark and generally impossible to make out.

​Holly: ​Ya know what bothers me? The fact that the authors gave their daughter and one of their dogs the same name.  Well, that and the statement, “Vans are unique vehicles that offer you comfort in the wilderness and both speed and economy on the open highway.” Um…no. They don’t.

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At the Butt End of a Rainbow

Butt-End-of-the-Rainbow

At the Butt End of a Rainbow and Other Irish Tales
Livesey
1970

​Submitter: Oh fine, inevitable commenters. Rant about the literary and cultural value of the contents (which I didn’t bother to scan because … really) and the shallowness of judging a book by its cover (and title). But really, what will our patrons do?  And I swear I’ve seen that horse’s world weary expression on some older 1980s actress. It’s bugging me.

​Holly: That’s exactly what our patrons will do!  Once again, if it works in your library or you can’t find/afford anything better, by all means keep it.  Your patrons will have a great time making fun of the title and cover.

Friday Fiction: Trouble After School

Trouble After School
Beim
1957

In a nutshell, Lee’s Mom takes a sales job (Gasp!). Of course this means the family is doomed. Basically good kid, Lee loses focus, decides to get a leather jacket and hang out with the wrong crowd. Bad guy of the story is a guy named Terry. We know he is trouble because he wears a leather jacket and runs in a gang. Everyone uses words like “sissie” and “swell” and now Lee thinks about joining in for a bit of vandalism. Anyway, Mom rethinks that crazy job idea, a guidance counselor provides guidance.Lee rethinks his slide into a life of thuggery and failure. He gets his grades back up and retires his leather jacket. Cue the music.

I think we can safely retire this one to the book sale. I know fiction is a tough nut to crack when it comes to weeding. In this case, I am sure we can let it go. However, if you are faced with a book you think might still have an audience, you might want to move it into the adult section and see if you have any takers. I firmly believe that a teen section should reflect the tastes and interests of today’s teens, not yesterday’s or in this case, many days before yesterday.

Mary Continue reading