Submitter: We recently moved to a new (smaller) town in a new state. I was super excited when we found out that the library is walking distance from our house. And the library looked good, from the outside. Inside is a different story. The books are very hit and miss. The kids section is small and out of date, and there are gaping holes in the adult section. Don’t even get me started on the young adult section. There is a saving grace: they are a member of a network of like 130 libraries in the state so we can request pretty much any book we want. Anyway, my daughter (9) is a huge Dino fan, and this was one of maybe 6 books on dinosaurs that they had. It’s old, and held together with tape. The hand drawings are old, and while in color, that color is green. The about the Dino sections are out of date by today’s understanding (brontosaurus anyone?), and it’s just dated. Don’t get me wrong, my daughter is planning to make everything in the book and I’ve already looked it up on amazon (less than $4 plus shipping) but it just isn’t what I was expecting from the library. The tape, stained pages, slight tears, and age make it something I never thought I’d see in a library these days.
Holly: Sad trombone. Checking out your new library for the first time is such a hopeful situation. To find it less than stellar is disappointing. I hope this inspires you to attend library board meetings, or join the Friends of the Library, or volunteer there. Sounds like they could use the help.
Submitter: I recently found this severely outdated book about the “ferocious” Tyrannosaurus Rex in the collection of the public library where I work. It’s from 1988, making it old enough that the king of the dinosaurs is depicted as walking upright like a person in a T-Rex costume. Only when he’s examining footprints on the ground does he use his tail for balance. Also good for a laugh: the Triceratops goring the offended-looking T-Rex in the thigh, and the misshapen baby T-Rex with the double chin.
Holly: This one could definitely be updated. Kids love dinosaur books, so librarians may be favoring quantity over quality. If the science is incorrect, though, let’s give kids something more accurate. I’m no dinosaur expert, but I do know that 27 years is a long time in any science discipline. There are lots of great dinosaur books for kids published every year, so it can easily be made a priority for updating every five years or so. Maybe even ten years, but definitely not 27!
Thanks to a librarian friend, here is a book on Canadian dinosaurs (as opposed to those pesky American Dinos). I am imagining a few Canadian Dinos taking in some Tunnel Bar-B-Q, hitting a casino or strip club, and then crossing over to catch a Red Wings game in Detroit. (I know Americans in Detroit do this, so I am only assuming the traffic goes both ways.) How do those tiny arms hold the passport?
Before anyone gets upset, this book is NOT awful! I loved the layout, pictures and information. I particularly like that they provided information about the particular digs and museums in Alberta. I can’t wait to plan a vacation to Dinosaur Provincial Park. My only gripe is that it is getting a bit ripe in age and maybe a newer edition is in order. One of my regular kids always says you can never have too many dinosaur books. That kid is absolutely right.