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Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

National Lib Week 2014: For Sex Ed, See Librarian

For Sex Education, See Librarian: A Guide to Issues and Resources
Cornog and Perper
1996

Submitter: My colleagues and I are just thankful no one ever noticed this book on our shelves…and then asked us for a sex ed seminar. *Quietly withdraw*

Holly: My first thought was that it goes back to a time when sex ed books were kept behind the desk, so if you wanted them you had to ask the librarian for them. Maybe? It is a bibliography of suggested books to have in your collection, which was ok for 1996 and a couple of years after that, but is pretty useless now.

Mary: I first looked at the title and read For Sex, See Librarian. Now that is customer service.

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National Library Week 2014: The Picture File

The picture file: A manual & curriculum-related subject heading list
Hill
1975

Submitter: [This is] from a middle school library non-fiction shelf available for student use!  The internet eliminated the need for picture files more than 15 years ago, but I found this book on the shelf last year. Once school libraries were staffed based on the amount of items in the collection.  That’s the only explanation I can think of for why this book was still on the shelf. What’s more astounding is that someone paid to put this in an online catalog instead of weeding it when the card catalog and picture files were eliminated.

Holly: Who knows how things like this get missed or passed over when weeding!

I have to confess: I had no idea what a picture file is.  I can see how it  might have been a cool thing in the 1970s and 1980s, though!  It looks like it’s a file of pictures (um…duh, right?) that are  used for bulletin boards, displays, teaching lessons, and that sort of thing.

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File those cards properly!

ALA Rules for Filing Catalog Cards
Hiss
1942

It’s National Library Week everyone! This week we will be featuring some lovely library themed posts. If you are a library lover this is the time to show it!  Visit your local library this week and while you are at it, how about opening that wallet and support your community’s library.  

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Submitter: This book is particularly awful as it was on the regular non-fiction shelf in a high school library.  This wasn’t even on a professional shelf being kept for historic value after the elimination of the card catalog 35 years ago!  It was actually there for student use!  It is also an unbelievably unnecessary tome; any librarian (or anyone with an ounce of common sense) could figure out how to alphabetize the card catalog without this instructional manual.

Holly: What a colossal waste of space.  It is kind of neat as a historical perspective, but unless that is your library’s mission – to keep things for historic value – then it is really useless.  Put it in someone’s office, where it will be found when they retire 30 years from now.  We’ll post it again when you find it there in 2043 (on it’s 101st birthday).

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