Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

Love Italian Style

Love Italian style

Submitter: Chapter 3 is where all the dirt comes out. We get great insight to a select few Italian males’ mind sets in 1966. This book interviews men in Italy and asks the same set of questions.

From the table of contents I had to read A Roman Truck Driver. How intriguing! I have included the full passage. He talks about how he has been carrying on affairs on his wife with prostitutes and dancing girls. I loved how when asked what he thought about homosexuals his response was “I think it’s a sickness.” He follows that up with two pages of how he has been engaging in gay sex. So open, so honest! In each passage the men surprisingly have had some sort of gay tryst.

Here’s the thing. This book is cataloged in the YA section of my local public library. I could see this book being in an academic library. I am not sure a public library, never mind cataloged in YA , would be right.

Holly: This is mildly interesting at best, but unless your community is largely Italian, it’s not that relevant to a public library audience. I agree that it doesn’t seem right for a YA audience too. Its age, subject, and relevancy to a modern general public library audience is really limited. It’s an easy weeder without  much risk of being missed. I want to see the chapter on the Sardinian Shepherd. Oh wait, maybe I don’t…

More Love in the Stacks:

Sleezy Dating Tips for Gentlemen

Bom Chicka Bow Wow

Chicks, Man

Dating for Divorcees

Dating for the Mature

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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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