Hostage Rescue

Hostage rescue manual

Hostage Rescue

Submitter: Attached is a scan of the book Hostage Rescue:  A Manual that was just recently found on our shelves.  Though this book obviously has its place in both literature and libraries, our very small public library is probably not the best fit.  Our library is gearing up to celebrate its 10th Anniversary and since then relatively “new” old books that were donated the library when it was first opened are still sometimes found our our shelves. We’re always weeding, but this summer we’re going through a huge project and getting rid of everything outdated, unnecessary and ridiculous.  I guess it does have some value and might have been a relevant tool for training, but in a small public library?   Even though our library shares a building with the township police station, it’s not surprising to know that this book was never checked out!  And plus, Thompson wrote a revised addition in 2006 that probably touches on more current trends, technology and reasoning.

Holly: I’ll agree that it’s a reasonable weed for a small public library. It’s a bit outdated, but not completely irrelevant (yet…).  In a larger library it could easily be left in the collection without being labeled completely “awful,” but you know your library, it’s space limitations, its users, and its goals.  Mary and I went through a similar scenario about ten years ago when the library where we worked moved the collection from a tiny older building into a larger new building.  There were a lot of donated and out-of-date items that got transferred, which we weeded over the following few years.  Good times…

Verdict: not the most awful library book we’ve ever seen, but definitely a contender in your setup.


  1. Do the police even know it’s there? I could see it getting accidentally moved to the library collection by a janitor or someone who found it laying around and the police are still wondering “Where did that book go…”

  2. But but but — you might need this book if you’re held hostage inside the library!

  3. [on the radio]
    Hans Gruber: Mr. Mystery Guest? Are you still there?
    John McClane: Yeah, I’m still here. Unless you wanna open the front door for me.
    Hans Gruber: Uh, no, I’m afraid not. But, you have me at a loss. You know my name but who are you? Just another American who saw too many movies as a child? Another orphan of a bankrupt culture who thinks he’s John Wayne? Rambo? Marshal Dillon?
    John McClane: Was always kinda partial to Roy Rogers actually. I really like those sequined shirts.
    Hans Gruber: Do you really think you have a chance against us, Mr. Cowboy?
    John McClane: I sure do. I have the Hostage Rescue Manual. Yippee-ki-yay, motherf*<%3r.

  4. You know, were I a hostage, I would hope to God the people sent to rescue me had received somewhat more-comprehensive training than, “Yeah, I think there’s a book on that somewhere–maybe check the library?”

  5. Too funny, Rosemary! Be perfect for a summer release about thugs taking over the library, and the only person standing between them and the innocent readers is John McClane, librarian. This time, it won’t only be the books he weeds!

  6. We’re moving one of our school library collections to a new building in May, and our biggest priority is to NOT move anything we’ll have to discard after we get there! I hate the thought of moving stuff we’ll just throw out later.

  7. Hm – I’m all for a hostage situation in a library in a movie, but only if we replace John with a plucky, singing library clerk, and one of the hostages is played by the uber sexy Alan Rickman. *winks*

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