Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development


Making a Collection Count

Just in time for the Holidays: Soft Toys & Dolls

The Woman’s Day Book of Soft Toys and Dolls

Submitter: Craft books that are older than the librarian are very unlikely to circ in a middle school library. This one hasn’t left the shelves since 1987. I can’t imagine why my students don’t want to play with Little Women dolls, or small dolls with polka dot bloomers.

Holly: Collectors may have a reason to want this book, but a middle school is definitely not the place for it.

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Ye Olde Computer Book

Computers: Their History and How They Work

This super current title was recently weeded from a public library youth nonfiction collection. How recently? How about autumn, 2013? I kept thinking certainly no other public or school libraries still have this in the collection. Well, I was wrong. WorldCat shows a bunch of libraries with holdings.

Please don’t give me the “but it’s historical” speech. An elementary school library is not the place for this little gem from the 1960s. I am not sure where this one would go, but I know its is not a current technology collection in a public library or school library.


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Careers for the Gifted

Exploring Careers for the Gifted

Submitter: I cannot find any reason to keep this in my high school library, even though it is in excellent condition. I feel like the identical front and back cover are meant to eliminate the non-gifted from being able to open the book.

Woefully outdated information:
p. 111 “Keep carbons of all letters you write.“
P. 26 “Don’t sign up for ‘Band’ or ‘Driver Education.’”
P. 33 Statistics about the projected growth in the field of technology through 1995 are completely useless.
P. 97 I hope that the “Directory of Organizations Interested in the Handicapped” has been named.

P. 24 If your parents are not understanding and supportive, perhaps because of naivete…”

P. 29 “Buildings teach.” I guess we don’t need teachers after all.
P. 91 I don’t really understand how the photo shows the “examination strain” of the students pictured. – Maybe I am too naive to understand.

Holly: Why on earth would this book suggest you not sign up for band or driver education?? What if you’re gifted in music? (Or driving, if that’s a thing people are gifted in. I can tell you it’s a thing people are UN-gifted at…but I digress.) Most career books from 1985 can be weeded out of high school libraries, but this should be at the top of the pile for all the reasons Submitter listed.

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