Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

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Making a Collection Count
PLA Weeding Manual

Turn on the Charm

Those Enduring Young Charms
Larison
1942

Submitter: It’s all about keeping up appearances in “middle-age”.  I am particularly fond of Chapter 8: Your Grooming Begins with a Foundation (as in foundation garments). I am sure that many of your younger readers will have no idea that women used to truss themselves up in those awful rubber girdles, to keep their wholesome figures from ruining the line of their clothes. I consider myself lucky to be among the generation just after that, where bras and the like became “optional.”

Holly: Many of us will agree that this kind of book is fun. There is something to be said for finding books like this in the library and spending a lazy afternoon browsing through it.  If your public library has space and calls it a special collection, great!  People probably love your library!  If, however, your patrons go to the beauty section and find this and assume it’s the only thing you’ve got because all your current books are checked out, you’ve got a relevancy issue.

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We All Live in an Atomic Submarine

Let’s Go Aboard an Atomic Submarine
Hamilton
1965

Submitter: Let’s not and say we did!

Holly: Sally and Joey sure look excited for their vacation, though!  Nice cover art.  This children’s book explains what nuclear submarines are and how they work.  Atomic energy was all the rage in the 50’s and 60’s, so kids back then probably loved this kind of thing.  It was probably the equivalent of today’s kids reading about…wait, today’s kids are more interested in playing Atomic Submarine Kill Zone Spectacular for whatever game console they have.  (I made that up – it doesn’t exist!)  Really, though, what IS the use of this book in a public library children’s section now?

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A Case for Bra Burning!

Dressed to Kill
Singer and Grismaijer
1995

Submitter: “Now let me just say, I am all for breast cancer research and finding a cure. However, I don’t really ascribe to the belief that my underwear = cancer.  And when one really looks closely at the book it becomes apparent that it is not the underwear itself but ill fitting underwear that is the enemy. I mean the way this man describes the way his wife’s unmentionables fit sound barbaric and unnecessary. I don’t think this is why his wife got cancer though. Nor do I think the small study he conducted is viable.   So on the basis of this book being 90% + obsolete, redundant and most importantly full of one sided bad science I am sending it for you to see. ”

Holly: I appreciate that people are looking outside the box in terms of cancer research.  However, this is 14 years old.  Further research definitely needs to be done if this is to be taken seriously.  The other problem is that the cover removes the last shred of credibility this book may have ever had.