Awful Library Books

Hoarding is not collection development

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PLA Weeding Manual

Friday Fiction: High Flying Romance!

maiden flight cover art

Maiden Flight
Betty Beaty
1963 (original publication 1956)

It is been a while since we have had a Friday Fiction selection, but today is your lucky day with a romance special featuring an airline stewardess. Like most romance fiction of this period, we have a meet not-so-cute of poor, shy stewardess newbie Pamela and irritating and sexist instructor Roger. Roger evidently has a problem with women on airplanes. Of course, he offers nothing but “helpful” criticism, with a side of condescension. You know, because it’s for her own good. By the last page, Pamela is an “adult” and understands Roger and his motives for being a jerk. Naturally, he proposes marriage and all is right with the world.

I feel like this should have a warning label that your feminist sensibilities might explode.

Mary

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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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