Hoarding is not collection development
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Making a Collection Count

Turn That Frown Upside Down

Hot Day on Abbott Avenue
English
2004

Submitter: I am in the PZ’s in our collection (children’s fiction) doing shelf reading and collection development (a.k.a. weeding primarily) and found this beauty (note the sarcasm).  You never would have known the problem -until you opened the book.  The outside is in perfect condition, and has all the technical processing in the right order, including the pocket for the checkout card. What everyone failed to notice however, was that the entire block of text was put in UPSIDE DOWN!!!  It didn’t help that the end pages were of a solid yellow-orange color, masking the problem just on the other side.

The only reason why I found out was because I opened the text to see if it was worth keeping.  You see, being a rural community college, we don’t have the funding to be able to purchase fiction (unless it is part of a required/recommended reading list for a class, or a patron has requested that specific title –we try to honor patron requests when we get them, which isn’t that often-), so we tend to hold onto what we have far longer than its shelf life.  But sometimes if it just looks bad, or is just a badly written story, it won’t get checked out, and makes the shelves look bad, and harder to find the titles you DO want.

Holly: And THIS, my friends, is why a physical inventory is a must from time to time. Put your hands on the materials and don’t rely solely on ILS reports for weeding!  Side note: this book was not a bad choice for this library at all! Maybe the publisher would have replaced it if it had been noticed, say, ten years ago. Is it possible it checked out steadily for ten years and no one bothered to mention that it is printed upside down? At this point, IF it has been circulating steadily, I’d keep it. If it has gone ten years unnoticed and untouched, weed it.

More Processing Failures:

Immature Humor Alert

RIP Anne of Green Gables

When Bad Things Happen to Innocent Library Books

Try Not to Take it Out On the Book

7 Responses to Turn That Frown Upside Down

  • Shouldn’t that have been noticed and dealt with when the book was first received in the Library?

  • Sometimes the people doing the processing never open the book. I’ve seen books labeled as for children cause of the size or cover but when you open them they’re obviously for adults. People get busy and judge things by their covers.

  • I just received a book in a shipment that was bound backwards (the last page was first, first page was last) and we have gotten a few that were bound upside down over the years. A couple of them are textbook novels that we didn’t catch before processing, so now and then a student has to read “upside down.”

  • This book wasn’t published for kids, it was clearly published for bats!

  • there was a book here that we had for more than a year that circulated on a constant basis. Finally someone brought it back and informed us that in the middle of the book it starts over with chapter one. The public must assume we read every book in the library.

  • Shame no one noticed it. I like the illustrations.

  • @A.C.: Wild giggling over the bat-comment! Thankyou a lot!

    @Lynda: Oh yes, people assume that we read everything. Not just the ones in the library. We read all the books. And remember everyone. Oooh, and we also listen to every audiobook and check for flaws in the cds. Every time one gets returned. what else do we do with all that time of ours? …