Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development


Rhodesia: In Pictures

Holly: Rho-what??  Why do public and school libraries insist upon having country books in their collections for countries that no longer exist…and haven’t existed in a full generation of library users?  Pass them along to an archive or special history/geography library.  Please.

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Friday Fiction: Hey Cowgirl, Need a Ride?


Hey, Cowgirl, Need a Ride?

Submitter: This book came in after being checked out, so while we think it’s hilarious, our patrons must enjoy it. Perhaps they like Westerns?

Holly: Perhaps.  You really don’t get a feel for the story from this title or cover.  I thought maybe it was lesbian fiction.  WorldCat’s description is: “A down-on-his-luck former rodeo champion, Luck is working in the remoate Nevada desert with fellow cowboy Al Bean when Teddie Arizona, a gorgeous siren with the henchmen of her “husband” F. Rank Pantaker in hot pursuit, arrives.”  I’m still not clear on who’s asking whom if they need a ride!  Also, the cover is drawn in a way that almost suggests teen or youth fiction.  I bet this gets accidentally shelved in the wrong department half the time.

Bad Hair Day

How to Set and Style Your Own Wig
Submitter: Found on the shelf of a big, urban, central public library while weeding the 600s.  I don’t really know what to say about this one. It speaks for itself.

Holly: I’ve got plenty to say about this one, starting with “For the love of whatever it is that motivates you, weed this book!”  There are an awful lot of public libraries with holdings.  None of the hair styles in it are modern enough to warrant keeping it.  It’s not a bad idea for a book in public libraries, but anything style-related has to be kept more current than this. Can you imagine the reference transaction with a patron?  “I’m so sorry to hear about your [insert devastating hair loss scenario here]. Sure, I’ve got a book about wigs to help you through this difficult time.”

My grandmother wore a wig for most of her adult life.  She had hair – she just didn’t like her hair.  I remember going to her house and seeing those disembodied heads with wigs on them and being both fascinated and horrified by them.  The other thing that this book reminds me of is the time I took a curling iron to my Barbie doll.  That did not end well.

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