Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

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Afraid to Ask

Afraid to Ask coverAfraid to Ask: A Book For Families to Share About Cancer
Fine
1986

Submitter: My local library has a large network of branches. Also included are the libraries at all the public schools. This 1986 book on cancer came to me via one of those schools. The entire system has 6 copies. I would argue this was completely out of date 10 years later in 1996. But almost 30 years later?? I can only imagine all the medical advancements that have taken place in the span of 30 years. I guess I could take some small solace in the fact this book was in mint condition. It cracked when I opened it, as though it was new! Perhaps never even read.

Holly: I bet this was a good book in 1986. It could have been weeded by 1990 or so. I do like the format, but cancer isn’t quite the instant death sentence it was in 1986. That cover is not-so-inspiring!

 

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Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack

Jumprope1.jpg Jump Rope Rhymes
McGee
1968

Submitter:  This was a donation, apparently removed from some other library many years ago, and someone thought we just might like it. It looks ancient and dirty (I had to majorly improve some of the images so they’re readable), smells very strongly (and not in a nice, old book, way), and the rhymes, although indeed I have encountered many of them in ancient children’s fiction, are not exactly suitable for 2016—a little too much nudity and political incorrectness, among other things. I scanned as many pages as I could before the disgusting factor got too high.

Holly: I am embarrassed to admit that I know the words to many, many jump rope rhymes. In fact, many of these are familiar to me. My jump rope days are long gone, though, and this book should go away too – especially if it is smelly and dirty. And yet, there are quite a few owning libraries out there, according to WorldCat!

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Oh-Oh-Oprah

Oprah Winfrey coverOprah Winfrey
Presnall
1999

Submitter: Before she ended her TV show, before the Book Club, there was this 1999 biography on Oprah. My local library has 7 copies of this book throughout their system. On page 90 I think there is an error. I am pretty sure that is Dr. Phil, not one of her lawyers from the cattle rancher’s lawsuit.

Holly: I’m really tired of these publishers using the worst possible picture of celebrities on the covers of their books. Oprah Winfrey is a beautiful woman, and there are so many better photos than this one! She’s still relevant, so this needs to be updated.

 

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