dating cover

Don’t make a dating mistake!

Dating
Narramore
1961

Looking for some old fashioned advice about dating? Here is an option for you from the early 1960s. I found this in a university library which is probably the most appropriate place for this material.

Considering it is the early 1960s and geared to Christian teens, you can probably guess how the advice goes:

  • Don’t date someone who isn’t a Christian
  • Save your sexual purity for marriage
  • Don’t go out to clubs, movies, and do other “non-Christian” activities
  • Listen to your parents

It is important to remember that getting pregnant out of wedlock was pretty much the worst thing that could happen to a woman. You could get fired from a job, kicked out of school, shunned by family or shipped off to an “unwed mothers” home. Hence, these books were really about putting the literal fear of God in teenagers.

Teen Legal Rights cover

Teen Legal Rights for the 1990s

Teen Legal Rights
A Guide for the ’90s
Hempleman
1994

Some books are so obvious to weed. This one practically has a neon sign over it saying “weed me!”

When you are my age the 1990s seem like yesterday. In terms of a public library teen collection, the 1990s should be considered ancient history. A good rule of thumb: books should be no older than the teens, and definitely not older than parents of teens.

who are you cover

Who are you?

Who are you?
Teenager’s guide to self-understanding
McGough
1976

Teens! Do you know who you are? Are you stressing over friends, parents, and dating? This book is for you. The content is mostly anecdotes, quizzes (if you were the president, what would you prioritize?), and “exercises” (write your own obituary!). I really don’t get how any of this stuff is going to help you find your inner self.

Obviously, this book is dated. I actually liked these kinds of books when I was a young teen. For all I know, I might have even read it since I was the right age in 1976. To use the vernacular of the late 1960s/1970s, the book was pretty square.

birth control cover

Teen Guide to Birth Control

Teen Guide to Birth Control
Nourse
1988

Another teen guide-to-life book. We have prolific health writer Alan Nourse again instructing the kids on various methods of birth control. For 1988, this isn’t a bad choice. His writing is pretty-plain spoken and doesn’t get bogged down in judgments, unlike a lot of publications, both older and newer. The info is mostly focused on the female perspective. It’s pretty clear that if a woman wants to avoid pregnancy, it is up to her. Boys seem incidental to the conversation.

make-up Magic cover

How about some make-up?

Make-up Magic
Van Hazinga
1987

What make-up goes best with big hair and leg warmers? For that complete 1980s look, you can learn some nifty techniques to make your eyes, cheeks, and lips ready for that next school dance or for an 1970s-80s David Bowie Cosplay.

Make-up, fashion, and hair books, need to be weeded more often than you think. Aside from changing styles, many of these books will reference products that are no longer available. This book is aimed at teen girls so being extra conscious of issues of body issues, diversity, inner beauty should also be considered. That said, this little artifact from the 1980s should be weeded from the collection as soon as possible. I doubt that Mom’s (or possibly Grandma) choices in make-up would be any teen’s first choice.

birth control and protection cover

Don’t get knocked up!

Birth Control and Protection
Options for Teens
Peacock
2000

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.