From the beginning - cover

From the Beginning

The Atlas of World History: From the Beginning to Alexander the Great
McEvedy
1970

Submitter: Weeding my high school library, where the non fiction books average an age of 1986, I found this in the history section. I flipped through it and it seemed pretty decent for being published in 1970 and White American centric, but then I saw this map and read the text accompanying it. It seems pretty racist even for 1970s.

Holly: Ouch, 1986? You have your work cut out for you, Submitter. Good catch on this one.

Columbus cover

Columbus Day Fail

Columbus
D’Aulaire
1955

Submitter: We had a homeschool family Interloan this book for schooling purposes. We are so glad it is NOT on our shelves nor will it be. Reviews praise the artwork but that does not save this book. Besides the fact it is quite old with original copyright of 1955, it is just all wrong for educating children about Columbus. Using terms of “red skin savages” and “yellow skin” and “slanty eyes” is not acceptable; it is all stereotypes and glorifying the “white explorers” who save everyone they discover. This book will only teach you all the wrong facts about Columbus!

Holly: Not to mention it’s all highlighted and scribbled in!

western civilization

College Memories

The Western Experience to 1715
Chambers, Grew, Herlihy, Rabb, Woloch
1974

Another Swedish Death Cleaning Find…

This time we have a college history textbook. The only reason I know it was a textbook from college was the used book price from IUB also known as the Illini Union Bookstore. (Both my husband and I graduated from Illinois way back in 1982.) My husband recognized this book as his text from his Intro to Classical Civilization class. Professor Richard Scanlan’s class was arguably the most popular class at the university during our tenure. My husband, an engineering student and a guy who would take math classes for fun, absolutely loved this class. I am quite sure that is why this book is still sitting on our shelf. Scanlan died in 2009.

The book itself is nothing particularly special. The content probably can be found in many more current published books. Although we get to make our own rules with a personal library, this sentimental feeling about particular titles or even editions, can also plague librarians trying to weed a collection. It is easy to get caught up in what the book means to us personally. No one is immune to this.

Mary's library for weeding

Library Death Cleaning

Since I am working from home right now, I have set up shop in what we call “the library.” Most of the stuff in this room are books, pictures, and some miscellany from family. This room is more for reading and not working. However, I wanted to keep library work separate from my other stuff, so I used this room so I could spread out.

We have a LOT of books in this room. Most of the time, I don’t pay attention since I mostly read library books. I can’t remember the last time I looked at titles in here. Combine this with the fact that I turned 60 last month, and we have known people that have been sick – and in some cases died – from COVID-19, I had a literal Swedish Death Cleaning moment. I am not planning to die soon, but I have decided that it’s time to get rid of our detritus throughout the house, starting with this room.

last names first

Name It!

Last Names First
Lee and Lee
1985

This is basically a genealogy for kids title. In general, I think genealogy items have a longer shelf life than many books. Tech related genealogy books, not so much. This one is showing its age in the “humorous”, I mean cringe-worthy, illustrations. The actual text isn’t too bad and I will give the author props for including non Western Europe information.

Columbus cover

Columbus and the Age of Exploration

Columbus and the Age of Exploration
Ross & Stott
1985

Submitter: I am a youth services librarian in a public library and this book was recently brought to my attention from a patron. Upon examining, with much giggles and then gasps of horror from ALL the staff, we decided it would be best to pull this one from our JUVENILE NON-FICTION (!!!) collection. While there may be a blurb along the side captioning the thoughts of the new peoples and places that the early explorers may find, it’s still rather a disturbing addition to ANY collection.

Holly: I’m pretty sure cannibalism is not part of common core curriculum.