Computer Programming 123 cover

Computer Programming 1-2-3

Computer Programming 1,2,3
1983
Grosset & Dunlap

Submitter: Anyone who has worked with children and school assignments will know this story…
A class in the school across the street assigned a project on programming a computer and students flocked in to check out books from the library. There is of course that one student who shows up the day before the assignment is due and there is not much left. Trying to help him out, I found this ye olde computer book on the shelf. Yikes! Not awful in 1983, but not helpful today.

Holly: Oh look! A punch card!

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McDonaldland

McDonalds McDonaldland Specification Manual
McDonalds Corporation
1975

Submitter: There are many wonderful gems in our vertical file collection that really make no sense on why we collected them. This is one of them. It’s a 1975 booklet on the McDonalds characters. I love this quote “Ronald McDonald is a CLOWN. The fact that he is a corporate spokesman should not overshadow his ‘clownness.’ He is all the good things that come to mind when thinking of clowns.” I see that this booklet has been digitized in a few places and they will allow us to let this one go.

Holly: Nostalgia at its finest! I had a birthday party at McDonalds when I was about eight. I was a cool kid for that one day. Best. Day. Ever. But yeah – why is this still in a library collection? And I’m genuinely curious – who still has a vertical file? We do, but it’s mostly local history.

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Free Stuff for Quilters

Free Stuff for Quilters on the Internet
Heim and Hansen
1998

Submitter: I found this book this morning while weeding our craft section. To be fair, in 1998 it was probably a boon to quilters looking to get free patterns and connect with other quilters across the country. But, it’s an  awful library book now because 1998 was the Stone Age equivalent of the Internet compared to today. Helpful tips in the book how to use one of the starter discs from AOL to get started with internet service, and how to set up Explorer on your computer. Unfortunately, I am old enough to remember all of this, so I got flash backs of trying to dial into the internet and the horrible screeching sounds accompanying the attempt. I didn’t try the links, but I’m guessing many or most of them do not work. About the only information relevant to today are the Internet safety tips, which still ring true today. I see that there was a 2nd edition published in 1999, but I doubt the information on the Internet had significantly improved in a year’s time. I honestly don’t have an explanation as to why this was on the shelf. I have weeded in that area before, but never ran across it before. It’s leaving our shelves today.

Holly: Isn’t it weird how things just pop up out of nowhere sometimes? It’s probably been checked out to someone for like ten years and they finally decided to return it. Gee, thanks, patron.

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Satan’s Mark Exposed

Satan’s Mark Exposed
Kirban
1981

Submitter: This book is one of many from Kirban that outlines the ways in which the world will ‘soon’ come to an end. This particular title is full of outlandish predictions that include cannibal worms, laser identification beams, and of course the word computer (when assigned the proper alphanumeric code) adding up to 666. Not only are we treated to ranting speculations, but also some alarmist images and comics, depicting the doomed direction the world is heading. It’s hard to believe that there are more of these, but as the back of the book claims “Salem Kirban is well qualified to write on future events. He is the author of more than 30 books on the subject.”

Holly: He was prolific, that’s for sure! My favorite title from his bibliography is “How to Live Above and Beyond Your Circumstances.” Any libraries out there have that little gem to share with us?

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On Borrowed Time

88 Reasons Why the Rapture Could Be in 1988
Whisenant
1988

Submitter: This may be the very definition of a book with outdated information. While doing some weeding I recently came across this gem that has somehow managed to remain in the stacks until 2022. We are an academic theological library, and while we try to represent a wide range of theological perspectives, it’s hard to imagine how this ever ended up in the collection. Interestingly, it seems that this is not Whisenant’s first or last attempt at predicting the end of the world.

Holly: Edgar Whisenant was a NASA engineer. Bet he was fun at cocktail parties…

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What’s in a Name?

The New Baby Name Survey
Lansky
2007

Picture it: there I was, moving out the oldest baby name books from the non-fiction 900s, fairly impressed that they are mostly from the last five years and circulating at a reasonable rate.
Suddenly, I came upon this one, much older than the rest with pages starting to yellow and a paperback cover starting to do that thing where it separates into two distinct pieces of paper, sort of curling up at one edge.

What do I do? Look up my name, obvi. Then I looked up Mary, as one does.

Wow, every name seems to have a really depressing, negative description! Holly is “overly sweet…despite her poor upbringing.” Mary has “a conservative, mousy appearance.” Even biblical names! “Ham” says “what else can you expect when you hear the name Ham? It’s not surprising that people describe Ham as a piggish, rude, and dorky man. They also claim he’s sloppy, ignorant, and totally unappealing to women.” Tough break, dude.

I’m sure there are some nice descriptions that would make you look at your sweet baby and say, “Yes! Sarina is determined and goal oriented with lots of confidence and a sharp mind!” Just ignore the part where she’s also apparently a potential “conniving and snobby backstabber.” Focus on the good part.

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Brain Balance

Autism: The Scientific Truth About Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders – and What Parents Can Do Now
Melillo
2012

Submitter: People with autism have a hard enough time in life without being abused, threatened or discriminated against, and are invisible in mainstream society, so books, websites, etc. that spout hate, stereotypes and misrepresentations of autism harm the self-worth of already vulnerable people. The content of this book is no exception. (Click through to read more!)

Holly: Dr. Melillo’s Brain Balance Achievement Centers have definitely been criticized. Take a look at the external links on that Wikipedia page; especially the NPR piece.

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The New Woman Gets Hitched

The new woman’s guide to getting married
McCord Leo
1982

Submitter: A reference question brought me into the wedding books collection and I came across this book. I was surprised it was still circulating with a checkout just last year. Toned and dated, I thought I was going to find a real humdinger – but the info in the book was not that bad. It’s still worth weeding and replacing with something more modern that includes up-to-date financials and includes non-heterosexual couples.

Holly: The photos! Absolutely stunning. Oh, wait…there aren’t any.