After crafts, how about a few songs?

Music Activities for Retarded ChildrenMusic Activities for retarded children
a handbook for teachers and parents

Another ALB spy sent this lovely book to us.  Think of it as a companion title to the crafts book!  Thankfully, it has been weeded from the collection.  Last time I checked WorldCat, this book was in university collections and a few large public libraries, which is probably appropriate for this title.  I also must confess it took me quite a while to realize that is some kind of bird on the cover.


    1. The thing is, I think, that even if you’ve got a book that’s full of really wonderful things (and I’ve got to be honest: music activities of the 1960s probably aren’t going to hold up after forty years), it seems to me that with this title, no one would ever find them. Some people might get turned off by the use of the word “retarded”, certainly; but also many people, looking for music activities for children, would look at this title and say, “But that’s not what I need.”

      That’s my guess, anyway. I’d love it if a Real Live Librarian would chime in with a professional opinion.

      1. Even if the activities and/or music in the book were useful, I’d still remove it from the public collection. But I do have a small shelf behind my desk of weeded books that I use for story time ideas… so the book might not actually leave the library.

  1. Is there anything actually wrong with the songs, or is it just that the title contains a taboo word? I suppose you can’t risk giving offence, but it’s sad to think of the same thing happenning to its replacement in ten years’ time when someone pulls it off the shelf and recoils in horror: “learning disability?! you can’t say that!!” Censorship is bad, mkay? However, I suppose you have no choice here. At least it survives in some places.

    The bird is rather nice in a 70s sort of way.

    1. Harry, I didn’t see the contents since this was a submission. It isn’t so much content or political correctness as much as it is appropriate for a current, circulating collection. Read:for the lay person. It does belong in university or archive for the reasons of preservation and or historical perspective.

    2. Being sensitive to people’s feelings and changing mores is hardly censorship. A lot has changed since 1965 regarding treating the developmentally disabled and the approaches in the book might no longer be useful. Arthur Miller had his son institutionalized because he had Down’s Syndrome in 1966, but that treatment would be regarded as barbaric today.
      Also, there’s a difference between developmental disabilities and learning disabilities.

  2. Mary, I do take your point. It’s also perfectly possible the content was systematically unsuitable in some way, problematic lyrics of songs or whatever. I was just curious.

  3. The bird is kind of cool and artsy, except it sort of looks like its puking. But hey, retarded kids don’t care about puking birds. They just want to jam out some music activities. Lets get this party started.
    Taking aim at lousy advertising

  4. I’ve run into a similar problem managing my university library’s curriculum collection (children’s books for education majors). I’ve got a couple poetry books from the 60s or earlier referring to “Negro” poetry in the title. They need to be kept for historical/research purposes, but I won’t be putting them out on display for the students in the children’s literature class to use. 🙂

  5. @sylviaHubbard, it wasn’t politically incorrect to say “retarded” in the 60s (just as “Negro” wasn’t politically incorrect then either).

  6. Well…for me I’m loving the illustration on the cover (I’m a graphics junkie – so if your weeding send it my way) and since I work in with as a disability advocate the material may still be of use. The term retarded was appropriate for the time and is actually still used by the ARC –

  7. I figured out immediately that the cover image was of a bird – the question that came to my mind was “What is it vomiting up?” Oh wait, it vomits the joy of music.