I am sure all of you who have seen an episode of the Love Boat wondered what it would be like to work on a cruise ship. I am sure it is just like a vacation. (Kind of reminds me of people who think I get to read books all day because I am a librarian. Yeah. Right.) Well here is your inside scoop! Here you can learn all the cool inside stuff to be the next Julie McCoy.
Of course any career materials this old are going to be suspect. (Insert my tired old rant on dated career materials here.) Even if we forgive the age, this book lacks some basic truths about real work. High on travel, romance, fun, etc. and low on solid information about skills, wages, and working conditions. There is even a bit about gentlemen hosts, which I didn’t realize was an actual career. Evidently mature men are hired to “entertain” the single women with sparkling conversation and good dancing. Hmmmm. I never knew this.
A Port in the Library Storm,
One of my eagle eye circulation buddies sent this to me and thought it looked a bit dated. Yikes! I thought this was much older than 1986. I am also questioning the ABC format for material about police officers. I would much rather see straight up information. I did, however, start coming up with better ABC terms for my own version of the book. (B is Body Bag, or maybe D is for Drug Overdose. P is for Pepper Spray or how about S is for Streetwalker?)
Submitter: I’m torn about whether to weed-and-replace or simply weed this one! Like many academic libraries, at the liberal arts college where I work, we tend not to weed as much as public libraries. An older book could always be useful to some scholars looking back for some historical perspective on how a subject was researched and treated in the past. But with pages falling out, this book was in such poor condition that weeding was necessary.
My favorite part of this gem is not the 1970s bubble font used in the chapter headings but the long subtitle: “Odd Jobs: The World of Deviant Work: Confidence Men, Fences, Bookmakers, Safecrackers, Fortunetellers, Medical Quacks, Racketeers, Prostitutes, Strippers, Female Impersonators.” Maybe the connection between snake oil salesmen, mafia dons, and drag queens was more clear in 1978, but I don’t think these “deviant occupations” belong together in the same volume in 2011. I am also not sure whether Sociologists today would refer to sex work or female impersonation as “deviant.”
According to WorldCat, a number of libraries in my area also have copies. The book has circed twice (once in the 1990s and once in 2005) and was found on our document scanner, so someone was clearly perusing it.
My dilemma: Is this book important enough/of enough historical value to the field to buy a copy in better condition for our library? Or should I let it fade into the night and replace it with more current research? I’ve included scans of the table of contents and some charts and graphs.
Holly: I would try to find something more current on the subject, if something exists. The information in this book is just not accurate to today’s culture. The integration of technology into safecracking and updates in medical quackery won’t be included in this one.
Are we really having this conversation? This web site creates discussions I NEVER thought I’d have in my lifetime! Is the job of a Bookie the same as it was in 1978? My mother must be so proud.
Keep it if it’s all there is. Weed it and replace if possible.