Breast Cancer for the 1990s

breast cancer book

Breast Cancer
The Complete Guide
Hirshaut and Pressman

This is a book to weed. Before you toss it into the weeding pile, you might want to consider using this item as a concrete example of why we we weed. Breast cancer treatment has made huge strides since this book was published. In the early 1990s, this would have been an excellent choice for a public library medical collection. However, breast cancer research has had quite a few breakthroughs since the early 1990s, which are not going to be covered in an early 1990s edition.  However, before you toss it, it might be worth keeping to illustrate weeding. It is a concrete example that can illuminate some of the ideas about weeding and collection quality.  We can make fun of all sorts of out of time fashion, but this book illustrates the serious side of weeding.

I’ve also included a screen shot that shows that there have been subsequent editions by the author, yet all the editions have been retained by the owning library. Holly and I see this problem all the time in catalogs. It indicates a “buy it and forget it” mentality on the part of the library. If you have an idea that this might be happening at your library, it’s time to re-evaluate your collection process.

Speech over,


catalog screen shot of book

back cover of cancer book

post menapausal women

cancer and your job

cancer and your job continued



  1. The cover looks a little dirty, too. Grievously dated personal health information/advice deserves to be removed, not because it has always been bad, but because it is bad now and will always stay bad.

  2. For heaven’s sake! Would you actually hand an inquiring patron this faded, stained, out-of-date copy? Or keep it on the shelf to save a penny or two? I LOVE the idea of keeping it as a cautionary example.

Comments are closed.