Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

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Steal This Urine Test

Urine Test coverSteal This Urine Test: Fighting Drug Hysteria in America
Hoffman
1987

Submitter: Perhaps this would be best described as an awful book cover as the content is (from the bit I’ve browsed) actually a well-organized and well-researched argument against mandatory drug testing. The author, Abbie Hoffman, is famous for his earlier work, “Steal this Book” which is where the title derives from.

Holly: This cover is fantastic, though. He is too, too happy about his warm bottle of pee. #Gross

I’d weed it on age and relevancy, but my library focuses on popular materials. Your mileage may vary.

 

KnoWhutIMean Vern?

Ask Ernest coverAsk Ernest!: What, When, Where, Why, Who Cares
Worrell (fictional character)
1993

Submitter: Here is a poster child for the importance of weeding your library’s humor section. Helpfully, the book’s subtitle asks many of the relevant questions I had about it being in our collection, such as why? Why was this book ever printed? What? What was someone thinking when they bought it? Who cares? This dated gem hadn’t circulated in over a decade, so I guess the answer is no one. From a public library.

Holly: Ernest P. Worrell was pretty darn funny to middle schoolers everywhere in the 80s. (Ok, to adults too, though they might not admit it.) Sadly, Jim Varney, who played Ernest, died of lung cancer in 2000. In other words, kids today grew up in a world without Ernest and Vern and this book is only valuable to nostalgic adults. It wasn’t a horrible choice for a public library in 1993, but it definitely had a limited shelf life and could have been weeded shortly after Varney’s death.  Also, I’m bothered by the typo in the last image below.

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Retro Cool Bowling

Bowling coverBowling
Burton
1973

Submitter: It is important for us to provide information on pastimes and hobbies for our students’ leisure time. Which is why this bowling book from 1973 is a great choice. There’s nothing kids today like better. Inexplicably, it has never circulated. Perhaps we should leave it on the shelf to give it a chance to find its audience?

Holly: I’m not sure why there are so many old bowling books hanging around in libraries. Every single one of them has groovy fashion and represents a time when bowling was the hip, cool thing to do. Or, at least, it must have been seeing as how so many titles were published on the subject in the early 70s. It’s fine to have bowling books, but represent the current decade, at least! Now they have cosmic bowling  with black lights and automatic scoring. Sounds much cooler to me!

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