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Awful Library Books


This blog collects instances of books on the shelves of libraries that should be culled (or should have been culled years ago). The page shown is from a book called Moving Through Pregnancy from 1975.
The items featured here are so old, obsolete, awful or just plain stupid that we are horrified that people might be actually checking these items out and depending on the information.

This blog contains actual library holdings. No specific libraries or librarians are named to protect the guilty. Check your shelves, it could be you.

Link -via J-Walk Blog

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It's obvious you folks don't work in a library. :)

When people come to the library for books about pregnancy or careers or for their science papers, they need current material, not outdated stuff that may misinform them.

Sure, this book isn't likely to "mislead" anyone, but it's less funny when outdated science or population figures make it into a kid's paper.

Frankly, old pregnancy advice could be dangerous!

You average public library's mission is not to be a home for your poor, your tired, your ragged masses falling from their bindings, it is a place people go for information. Current information.

It's hardly "book burning" for heaven's sake! Exactly how long are libraries supposed to hang on to outdated material? 'Til we are buried under it?
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the old books rock! sure, you'd have to have some brains to realize that the old info shouldn't be taken for current situations. But it is great to look back in time, why not keep them in libraries where kids of today can learn some stuff about how life might have been in the past? It might not be current/up-to-date but at least it can be informative about the past. Who knows, maybe there's a project where a kid has to do a project of the 60s and they check out 60s books to get a closer look at what life was like. I just think it great!
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As a professional librarian, I would be embarassed to offer a pregnant woman seeking information on pregnancy and childbirth books such as the one pictured. (Which is why when I go into work tomorrow I'll make sure I don't have a copy lurking on my library shelves!) It is not book burning nor censorship when librarians remove outdated books. There is only so much room on the library shelves and books that are outdated, falling apart, or are not receiving enough use are "weeded" to make room for the newly written, up to date, or more popular books.

That doesn't mean that there isn't a place for some of these books. Many larger public libraries, university libraries and the Library of Congress keep many older, outdated books for the purpose of historical significance or tracking societal trends. Most public libraries are not archives. They do not have that mission nor the space or funds to do so.
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I bought an excellent book about sundials for $1 at a library book sale. It would have cost me $30 at Amazon. There was nothing wrong with it, and it wasn't out-of-date. Some librarian just decided it wasn't worth keeping on the shelves.

Sometimes, they make odd choices, and we lose gems.
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I am against censorship of any kind, we need to keep books like this around to remind ourselves that in the future even our thoughts and ideas will be considered archaic, and always promote ourselves to socially grow and reject past thought patterns which keep ourselves stuck.
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