Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

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Daddy is a Monster

My Daddy Is a Monster… Sometimes
Steptoe
1980

Submitter: This paperback book was in my library in the Easy section. Thankfully, it no longer is in my library. The story is strange and is written using slang. The illustrations are hard to understand. It was discarded for many reasons – paperback, circulated only twice since 1996!, and the story is weird!

Holly: The illustrations are cool! I really like the style. The back cover (shown below) calls this a “warm and humorous family story.” Booklist even says it has “affectionate family interaction.” I’m not seeing that in the few pages submitted, and I’m definitely not getting any warm fuzzies from the story!

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Isn’t Depression Cute?

Beat the Blahs coverHow to Beat the Blahs
Littauer
1979

As a long sufferer of the “blahs”, this book is beyond awful. For the time, this was probably how most folks thought about depression. Basically, with a little lipstick and a new outfit, you can beat depression. You just need to grab those bootstraps and pull your self up!

This is a great example of why we weed. More than a few times in my career, I have helped people who are in trouble. Be that a job loss, scary medical diagnosis and assorted other human problems. I think those of us,especially public libraries, believe that helping people sort through or manage problems is why libraries exist. Bottom line, I don’t want patrons depending on this to help them through a potentially life threatening illness with this little book. Trust me, weeding medical stuff will chase those library blahs away.  <updates lipstick and grabs a cart>

Mary

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Infotechnodemo

Infotechnodemo - coverUser: Infotechnodemo
Lunenfeld
Visuals: Gerritzen
2005

Submitter: This is in a university’s engineering and science library. It’s in the QA 76.9’s (for those more familiar with Dewey, that’s the more theoretical books about computers). We found it misshelved and happened to crack it open while discharging it.
It looks like some angsty art student’s design project barfed up into a book. You flip through it and…. it…. just… keeps…. going…! You can start at any random page and lose nothing for skipping whatever came before it. We’re not sure what point the “author” is trying to make, but it looks like he disapproves of something. And this comes from MIT Press, of all people.

It has no checkouts. Have you ever wondered if there’s some department in the Library of Congress you can write to and suggest they may have miscatalogued something?

PS- the scanner drastically desaturated the colors. They’re very neon in person.

Holly: Peter Lunenfeld is a “digital media theorist.” From what I gather, he is a philosopher on the relationship between digital technology and art, design, and culture. (Forgive me, I’m sure it’s much more complicated than that!) This could be interesting for students of media studies, I guess. At least it’s in the right kind of collection (university), although whether it goes in science and engineering, art, communications, or philosophy I couldn’t say. The Library of Congress probably couldn’t figure it out either, so they made their best guess. Catalogers? What say you?

 

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