Early Pleasures and Pastimes cover

Fun and Games

Early Pleasures and Pastimes
Kalman
1947

Submitter: We found this gem in our Children’s department of our public library, on a recent much needed weed. The children on the cover seem to enjoy waterboarding Grandpa. The actual photos inside are very disturbing. They dare you to wrestle a bear, and how about the crying little girl watching her beloved turkey get it’s head chopped off. I don’t understand why we had this one on the shelves for so long!

Holly: None of these are pleasures or appropriate pastimes for children! Pretty sure Grandpa is bobbing for apples. He doesn’t seem to be very good at it, though.

carpentry for children cover

Carpentry for Kids

Carpentry for Children
Walker
1982

My general rule of thumb for kids nonfiction is that it shouldn’t be older than the age of the kid. Please don’t write us about all your examples of the exceptions. I get it. There are probably thousands of exceptions. But I digress…

This book was brought to me by one of my co-workers. Topic is fine, but this particular book was old and tired looking. (As I am old and tired looking, I feel qualified to judge.)

In this example, the date published makes me question the following:

  • Is the instructional component and other content appropriate for the age group?
  • Are the tools/equipment/materials available and safe? (Beware of products/materials that are no longer available.)
  • Do any of the projects or commentary use outmoded or inappropriate language when describing people or things?
  • Are the projects something kids would be interested in now? (Not 40 years ago.)

Again, I am not saying that just because it’s old, doesn’t make it an automatic weed, however it does mean we need to check further.

The Taming cover

The Taming

The Taming
Deveraux
1989

Submitter: If your idea of a romantic hero is a dude with anger management issues, zero people skills, and a bad case of lice, then here is the book for you! This is the tale of a lady who marries an impoverished misogynist and scrubs his entire castle. Despite the fact that he does not maintain his estate, she is somehow able to produce elaborate multi-course feasts. There’s a ghost, too, so maybe any kind of realism was too much to expect.

Also, we’re an academic library. Every book its reader notwithstanding, how in the name of S.R. Ranganathan did this get into our collection?

[Images, below:] 1 cheesy book cover with bad font (for a good 10 minutes, I thought the title was The Famine); 1 page of lice; 1 page of the most disgusting living-dining room situation in print; and 1 page of a downright miraculous meal.

Holly: Oh, Jude. Jude Deveraux was super popular back in the day. The cover DOES look like The Famine!

Sneak it Through cover

Smuggling Made Easy

Sneak it Through : Smuggling Made Easier
Michael Connor
1984
Paladin Press

Submitter: This book was found on shelf by one of our library clerks and brought to my attention. A surprising purchase, and my only guess is a collection development librarian had watched too many episodes of Magnum, P.I., Remington Steele, and or the A-team. However, its value to a public library seems limited even with the published date of 1984. For those like us in the northern climates, will enjoy the snow on the car roof trick.

Holly: Because, as the back cover says, “You never know what you might want to smuggle when times get tough!”

Jump rope!

Jump for Joy!

Jump Rope!
Skolnik
1974

This ancient artifact was only recently weeded from a public library. Given the publication date, I very well could have checked this out as I was teen in 1974. Even if the information isn’t “wrong”, this just is so old, it’s embarrassing. Check out the array of fashion choices. Just yikes!

When I was thumbing through the book, I was really disappointed in the pictures. I am not referring to the fact they are black and white, but how they are just bad pictures and add nothing to the narrative. It wasn’t just the ones posted here, but all through the book. It was like someone’s mom grabbed their Kodak Instamatic and just pressed the button in the general direction of some jump rope action.

Jumping rope was a pretty standard fare during my elementary school days. Everyone did it. Now I only see jumping rope as part of a fitness routine. Do kids even jump rope any more?

diet away your stress

Fructose: A Magic Formula

Diet Away Your Stress, Tension, and Anxiety
The Fructose Diet Book
Palm
1976

Well folks, this is the miracle diet you have been waiting for!

Dr Palm’s theory is that a fructose regimen can improve the function of the nervous system. Benefits include decrease of demand for alcohol in alcoholics and eliminate cravings for food among those who overeat. In addition, he continues with claims to improve symptoms in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, lessons the “premenstrual tension” and improves the management of diabetes.

Sounds like fructose is magic.

I think you can safely weed this one.

ALB best of 2022

ALB’s Best of 2022 (part 2)

Some Weeding Resolutions for 2023

So here is part 2.
For your new year’s resolution, commit to frequent weeding.

Go slow. Weeding is something that is best done in small bites. Don’t load a cart and overwhelm yourself and everyone else. Think about devoting 10-20 minutes a day or limit yourself to 5-10 items at a crack. Take a look at this old post from Holly. If it is a huge project, make a plan.

Be mindful of the intended audience. Is it for teens? or is it for teens back in 1990? Check how it is cataloged. Would it do better shelved elsewhere?

Is this the best medium for this information? Books aren’t always the best choice for certain topics. Would a video or streaming content be better?

Integrate DEI into all aspects of collection management. Does your collection reflect many voices and perspectives? See this post and this post.

Finally, if you have to/want to do something, and just want to phone it in without thinking too much, try the following:

Duplicates and damaged materials. (Caveat: Don’t get caught up in saving books with tape and staff time. This can be a time/money/budget suck).

Move then to the obvious weeds: anything with a date in the title over a few years. (Think travel books, income tax materials, exam prep books, etc).

Even if this is all you are able to do, you will have accomplished more than you think.

Peace, love, and stable library funding for 2023

Mary and Holly