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Bicentennial Fever

spirits of 76The Spirits of ’76
Sloane
1973

I was in high school in 1976 and the Bicentennial was the all the rage. Sloane was landscape artist and illustrator. This book was probably one of the many books of Americana that was popular due to the upcoming bicentennial. Part essay and part illustration, it was more of a gift book to display and was probably a good choice for a library back in the day. I weeded this last year since there were zero checkouts since 1995, the year of the library’s first automation.

For a public library, this is one you can let go. Moody teen that I was, I remember being really sick of all the Bicentennial stuff. I have wondered if any of the paraphernalia from that time is collectible. (Pet Rocks need not apply.)

Mary

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Balloon Artist

Become a Balloon Artist coverHow to Become a Balloon Artist and Make Up to $100,000 a Year
Prosper
1987

Submitter: This book has recently been weeded from a public library. It probably should have been weeded a decade ago–or two. Surprisingly enough its last checkout date was a little under 4 years ago. This was through interlibrary loan, so if I had to take a wild guess I’d assume the patron put a hold on it without knowing what it looked like (no cover picture is provided in our catalog). Does this make me a bad librarian because I judged the book by it’s cover?

The majority of the book focuses on creating balloon designs, with very dated and only sometimes helpful black and white pictures of finished products. The title includes “make up to $100,000 a year” (really? in 1987?) but I suspended my initial disbelief because, hey, what do I know about being a balloon artist? But this book doesn’t really contain any information on how to achieve this particular salary. There’s marketing tips: create a decoration photo album, get involved with weddings, “smile a lot” and “dress for success,” but nothing to convince me I can live very comfortably as a balloon artist.

Holly: But the author’s name is “Prosper!” That must count for something!

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Copy Machine Art

copier creations coverCopier Creations: Using Copy Machines to Make Decals, Silhouettes, Flip Books, Films, and Much More!
Fleischman
1993

Submitter: With all the free or low-cost publishing and photo editing programs in existence, why would we want to encourage children to make multiple copies of pictures so they can make their own stamps or films? I do enjoy fostering creativity in my young patrons, but there are better ways to do this.

Holly:There might be a few good projects in here for teachers or children’s librarians, but even so…Submitter is right. It’s waaaaay easier to do these things on computers these days, and with more polished results. Sometimes I help people with elaborate projects on the library copy machines and think to myself how much easier it would be to download some clipart, copy/paste in Publisher, and be done with it. I’m sure that people without computer skills would disagree, but those people don’t tend to be able to handle our fancy new copy machines on their own either.

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