How to Recognize Abnormal People

How to Recognize and Handle Abnormal PeopleHow to Recognize and Handle Abnormal People
A Manual for the Police Officer
Matthews and Rowland

When I saw this title, I figured that librarians might need this cutting edge advice just like our fellow public servants, the police. As I read some of the descriptions below, I realized that they could have been describing me. Although to be specific, I don’t think people are plotting against me, I think it is the printer and copy machine in my library. It is the start of Skynet! I am positive!

These old publications are a great glimpse into the recent past and do have value in an academic or archival situation. I doubt if the cops are depending on this booklet in 2016.


ways abnormal people act

suicide attempts


sex offenders


  1. There is an instructional movie companion to this book, called “Booked for Safekeeping.” I recognized the photo on page five as a still from this movie.

  2. Well, the section about sex offenders is of course woefully out of date…but my favorite is page 4 where they describe signs of mental illness and use as an example “an ugly woman” who talks about being a model!

  3. Hears voices, talks to themselves, thinks people are plotting against them… Sounds like every day in a public library!!!

  4. I’ve worked in law enforcement for 15 years. I would love this book so much.

  5. cover: oh no he’s being attacked by a pack of abnormals! one of us! one of us!

  6. “Many persons talk to themselves, particularly old people.”

    Its nice to know that the suspicious glances will diminish during my advanced years.

  7. I am surprised that the exact term “sex offender” was in use in 1954. It sounds much more modern to my ears.

    1. And later on “gay” also (albeit with a much more negative tone than one would see in a modern book).

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