Millennials cover

Millennials in America

Millennials in America
Scardamalia
2017

Submitter: I found this book (clearly discarded) in our returns this morning. My (millennial) coworker exclaimed that it had been on the “free books, please take them” cart in the lobby earlier this week. She had picked it up thinking maybe it would be funny, but thought better about lugging home an outdated textbook. Apparently a library patron did take it home, but found it so unamusing that they promptly gave it back. I put it back in the discards area. I almost threw it away, but I guess I’m glad I didn’t. Our Friends of the Library group is actually starting to collect discards for book sales again now, and I looked this book up, and it is still for sale for $100.00.

Holly: This isn’t bad for an academic library, but a bit of a snoozefest for a public library collection.

teen violence cover

Bad Teens

Teen Violence
Lang
1991

Terrible teens are doing some seriously bad stuff and this book is here to tell you all about it. This is one of those social science books built for a research report. They usually come as a set of “current issues” that are targeted for middle school/high school. They all generally follow the same structure.

This book outlines those possible “causes” of violence in teens including: Nazis, gangs, video games, and drugs. There is a bit of data or quotes from articles about the topic. Nothing truly earth shattering. Also, it wasn’t as teen specific as the title would indicate.

bombed buzzed smashed

Bombed and Buzzed in 1976

Bombed Buzzed Smashed or Sober
A Book About Alcohol
Langone
1976

I could tell immediately from the font of the word “Bombed” that I had myself a lovely book from the 1970s. Almost every poster I had as a teen used that font. This is one of those teen nonfiction books used to write research papers. It’s okay. There are no pictures or anything interesting to break up the text. Newer books at least have a drunk teen on the cover.

girl talk

How to be a great teen girl

This is basically “how to be a girl” advice for teens. The book is divided into sections such as make-up, hair, hygiene, diets, etc. Once you get all these requirements in place, you are sure to be a successful teen girl.
The book takes an “ABC” approach to organizing topics. I really hate this kind of organization unless you are talking about ABC books, a dictionary, or an encyclopedia. In order to make this work, we have a brief articles (very brief) on topics such as “Xenophobia”, “No-No’s, and “Zest”. My personal favorite was the entry on Menopause. Obviously, this is an important topic for teen girls.

birth control and protection cover

Don’t get knocked up!

Today we have another teen heath book. It is now 20 years old. Like all medical information, this should be treated as suspect. Even if it hasn’t changed, teens need current information, just like adults. Also, these types of books also have referral information. I actually think this is probably one of the most important features of weeding criteria. Think about what wasn’t around in 2000. Not all businesses or organizations had website or social media presence. No smart phones. Limited texting. (I tried some early texting using only the phone key pad. It took me about a half an hour to write “hi”. No thanks.) Also important, books like this need to look current. Bottom line remember your audience.

teen dating cover

Teen Dating in the 1980s

Teen Dating
Stewart
1984

Aside from the crunchy brown paper, and a girl sporting a Cosby sweater, this isn’t too bad on the teen dating advice front. Yes it is outdated, but the advice is pretty generic. Look for qualities that are about friendship, be respectful, etc. A lot of the book is devoted to understanding social situations. There are tips on throwing a party, entertaining a date, going to prom, and other group activities as well.

However, it is glaringly out of date in terms of technology and social norms. I also think it is important to reiterate how important cover art is to getting someone to actually pick up the book. Fast forward 10 or so years, and the book looks dated. After 30 years, it is a book suitable for this blog.

A Boy Today, a Man Tomorrow

Boy Today, Man Tomorrow

A Boy Today, a Man Tomorrow
Hayes
1959

Submitter: I found this 1959 puberty manual when cleaning out an old closet at a public library in North Carolina I worked at a couple summers ago. It had long been weeded–I brought it home to read aloud to my 12-year-old, who was sufficiently horrified!

Holly: What were they saving it in the closet for?? It warms my heart to know it got a second life through your tween.

teen childbirth cover

Teen Childbirth Help

Teen Guide To Childbirth
Brown
1989

This is pretty much a basic childbirth manual. It assumes that this teen has all sorts of resources, dutifully gets prenatal care, and has support from family and the baby’s father. There isn’t any judgment about being married or shame cast on the teen mother. Unfortunately, that is about the only thing that is good. The reality is that there is probably 1% of all teen mothers that have the resources and choices in this book.

There are some pretty big questions left unanswered: How will I support myself? Where will I find help with child care? How am I going to pay for a hospital and prenatal care? Even if you can get beyond the outdated information, the couple pictures are just wrong. The first picture has a guy pushing 30 which brings a whole new level of ick to this book.