Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

Chasing the Dragon

Cocaine: The Rush to Destruction

Submitter: If the title and cover image weren’t heavy-handed enough for our teen patrons, the book is filled with stereotypical (and dated) images on every page staged to look like real drug transactions and use. The cover is startling enough, with the woman’s spectral nose floating off to the side! The book also places a strangely strong emphasis on the history of the coca trade, in language so stiff that I can’t imagine any teen picking this up long enough to glean any helpful information from it.

Holly: That cover! I will have nightmares for sure. Based on the date and the content submitted, it doesn’t seem too bad…I mean, I’ve seen worse. That said, there are plenty of great database entries with drug information for teens. If you’re weeding for space, it’s not like you can’t get the information elsewhere. Date-wise, I see that one of the images below (#3 on drug smuggling) cites data from 1997-1998. You can get more up-to-date stats from web sites like or the Statistical Abstract of the United States (a search for “drugs” brings up all kinds of data from 2012). I’m just “meh” on this one, but I’m not a fan of that cover!

More Drugs in the Stacks:

Drugs for the Kids

Doobie Books in Kiddie Land

Drugs are Evil


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Creative Clowning

Submitter: I have two great out of date clown books found just for you. Both were found in the juvenile section at my local public library. There were 4 copies of this at the library.  Plenty of scary clown photos that would even scare John Wayne Gacy.

Holly: Oh Maaaaary… I have a boooook for yoouuuu! Bwahahahahaha!

Look, I don’t have any real problem with clowns or books about clowns for juvenile sections of public libraries, but let’s not insult the clowning community by ignoring their need for updated materials. (Has anyone done a study on the information needs of clowns? Library Students! I have a thesis topic for you!)

Mary: I will be hiding under my desk if anyone needs me.

More Clowning Around:

Yesterday’s Clowns

Friday Fiction: Touch of the Clown

Clowning Around


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Flip Phone Fun

Do-It-Yourself Camera & Music Phone Projects: 24 cool things you didn’t know you could do!

Submitter: The flip phone on the cover says it all: this book is terribly dated. All of these new-fangled things that people can do with their phones are great, sure, but nearly every phone has this capability now without using a book to find the secrets to your phone. Phones are practically computers in and of themselves; why would anyone want to transfer their files by pulling out the SIM card and inserting it in their computer?

Holly: Anyone interested enough in camera and music projects to check out a book about it likely does not have a flip phone…or is willing to upgrade. If it were just a book about using flip phones, you *might* be able to make a case for another year or two, but this is specifically about multi-media projects, so it is too outdated to be useful.

Smart phones are so much easier to use than flip phones! My parents have flip phones, and they don’t believe me that a smart phone would be EASIER for them to use. I do see people in the library with flip phones from time to time, but usually those are the people who can’t figure out how to make the super loud ringing stop when everyone around them is giving them the stink eye.

More Cellular Magic:

Your Mama’s Cell Phone

A Modern Office to Go

Cool and Cordless!

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