Contact Us

About the Authors

Mary Kelly and Holly Hibner are public librarians in Michigan.  We have worked together since 1998.  We both have a passion for books and libraries, so we created this web site to share some of the cool (and, if we’re being honest, not so cool) old books that are gracing library shelves everywhere.

We are available for conference presentations, staff in-services, and webinars. We can happily discuss collection quality, maintenance, development, policy, and weeding. Click here for FAQs about hiring ALB.

Contact us at awfullibrarybooks (at)

Available Presentations 

Making a Collection Count
Make your collection count! This session talks about the overall quality of a library collection. This includes the benefits and methods of taking a physical inventory, analyzing collection procedures and workflows, and the life cycle of a collection. Most importantly, learn how to measure a collection’s quality. Our holistic approach to collection management will help all types and sizes of libraries to keep pace with the demands and expectations of their communities.

Weed ‘Em And Weep: Hoarding is not Collection Development
Reap the benefits of a well-weeded collection! This session will discuss weeding techniques, collection management policies, and how to motivate reluctant weeders. Participants will find the joy in a shelf list that reflects a clean, relevant, and current collection!

Collection Management Basics
This program starts with the basics, with beginning collection managers in mind. We will go through the collection life cycle and offer tips and efficiencies for managing a collection along the way, from selection to weeding and everything in between. Participants will be inspired to look at library collections with fresh eyes and analyze data in different ways – all while appreciating the lighter side of some weeding follies and foibles!

Weed Smart
Learn how to make any weeding project a public relations dream! In this program, we will discuss communication, transparency, and timing. Get the staff and patrons on board, be clear with your weeding plan, and set a pace that allows for careful decision making. We will also talk about how to dispose of weeded materials properly and respectfully. No one wants their library in the headlines for a weeding fiasco, so learn how to weed smart!

Librarian Competencies: How to Stay Relevant in Changing Times
Keep up or get left behind! This informational session will discuss librarian competencies and offer innovative ideas to meet our changing landscape head-on. What do librarian skills look like today? What skills will be needed in the future? We will take a candid look at how front-line librarians can stay relevant and take their career to the next level.

Adult Services 101
This program provides a general overview of adult services in public libraries. We will cover traditional services like reference, reader advisory, and programming as well as modern services like serving new Americans, emerging adults, and those with low vision needs. Participants will be inspired to look at the services they are currently offering to adults with fresh eyes, and come away with new ideas as well.