Hello Mr Chips cover

Why Did the Computer Cross the Road?

Hello, Mr. Chips! Computer Jokes and Riddles
By Ann Bishop
Published 1982

Submitter: Turns out computer joke books age about as well as any other kind of computer book. The content starts before the title page, with a picture of a computer carved from a literal apple, though I’d be hard pressed to identify it as a carving of a computer if it wasn’t captioned. There’s a nice Red Scare Era joke on page one, and later on a joke about computers driving cars that reads a little differently now that computers are driving cars. Also a joke about humans turning computers on—is that supposed to be literal, or did we put innuendo jokes in books for children 40 years ago? Shockingly, this book circulated as recently as 2016, which is also about when I became responsible for this collection. Honestly, I’m a little embarrassed it took that long for this book to come to my attention.

Ouch! cover

Ouch!

Ouch! A Book About Cuts, Scratches, and Scrapes
Berger
1991

Submitter: The information in this book is fine, but it’s pretty visually dated and hasn’t been checked out in about 10 years. Mostly I’m chuckling over the extremely dramatic, unrealistic drawings of blood spurting from assorted wounds. Be sure to check out the images of the interior pages for that.

Holly: Not to mention the advanced vocabulary, like “fibrin” and “platelets.”

United Nations Conspiracy title page

UN Conspiracy

The United Nations Conspiracy
Lee
1981

Submitter: I guess this book was purchased in the interest of “balance” for our academic library. In 1981, apparently, it was okay to pretend that whackadoodle conspiracy theories represented an alternative point of view. I’m glad the predictions of enslavement to a One World Government have yet to come true, and that the godless commies have not prevailed, despite the “brickbats coming thick and heavy” to John Wayne, of all people. John Wayne, “far removed from Hollywood’s typical subversion and perversion as you can get!” The nerve!

The Black Death cover

The Black Death

The Black Death
Day
1989

Submitter: Other than the cover (is that E.T. wielding the scythe of death? Why is he not wearing any clothes? Why is the dead man on the ground smiling?), this book is actually not that bad, just really old. Old enough to be concerned that “AIDS may soon become as damaging as the plague once was.” The pages are yellowed, the illustration style is pretty dated, and there are plenty of good newer books on the topic available. At 32 years old, this book has had a full life.

Holly: All the people in all the pictures in this book look like Zombies.

Neither Proof nor Trace for the Holocaust cover

Holocaust Handbook

Deliveries of Coke, Wood and Zyklon B to Auschwitz—Neither Proof Nor Trace for the Holocaust
Holocaust Handbooks, Volume 40
Mattogno
2021

Submitter: As a collection development librarian who receives email suggestions, you never know what you’ll find when you open a request. We received this eBook as an unwanted donation this week. It’s a Holocaust denying book that is totally crazy and full of inaccurate information. I am hoping the other 39 volumes are not on their way!

Holly: I can’t get past the series title: Holocaust Handbooks.

National Geographic

American Heritage

What do we have here? I’ll tell you what: approximately 70 years of bound American Heritage magazines. Each book is one year of issues. The last 20-ish years were individual monthly issues.

These have been living in the reference collection at my library, gathering dust since who knows when. I’ve worked there for 12 years and they were already dusty then.

Vaccinations cover

The Silent Killer?

Vaccination – The Silent Killer: A Clear And Present Danger
McBean and Honorof
1977

Submitter: I am wondering if other libraries are receiving donations like this. We have seen an influx of anti-vax books either emailed or dumped into our dropbox. This one is pretty scary!

Holly: I mean, come on, it’s 44 years old! Even if balance of viewpoints is important in your library, this is not the one. It’s missing 44 years of data that anyone would need to make their argument, whatever that might be. And (looks pointedly over my bifocals) let’s stick to a collection development discussion in the comments, please…