Awful Library Books CMS Style

So I’ve now been at CMS for 4 months. And what an awesome 4 months it’s been! I have already successfully weeded the fiction section and I am pretty happy with the results. With 1000 less fiction books (that were not circulating) cluttering the shelves, it’s much easier for students to find what they want. I was very happy about weeding fiction. However, I have not been very happy about the prospect of weeding nonfiction.

I knew it was going to be bad. I knew I was going to need to weed A LOT of books. Just thinking about it made my stomach drop. I’ve pretty much avoided nonfiction for the past 4 months, which as been pretty easy to do. It’s a very rare occasion that a student comes in looking for nonfiction — especially since I pulled all of the graphic novels and gave them their own home. Now, though, we are in the home stretch. And we all know that the end of the year means inventory time. So on Thursday, I decided it was time to suck it up.

Here’s the approach that I’ve decided to take. It’s kind of weird, but it’s working for me. I opened a partial inventory of just 000-999.999. This way if I scan something that doesn’t belong, I catch it right off the bat. I’ll go straight through and scan a section of shelves. Then I go back and I sort the books — keepers in one area and probable weeds in another. I’m not actually weeding them from the system at this point, I’m going to go back and do this to give them one more look. I was nervous to start this because I thought I would lament over these books. But after actually digging into them, I am SO over that. Oh, the horrors I have seen. The books that have been lurking on these shelves, laughing at me every time I pass by. They were laughing because they knew they didn’t belong. Many of them laughing because the information they hold is so outdated that it can’t even qualify as nonfiction anymore. Seriously.

But now, it is your turn to laugh. Laugh away at these awful library books that have been living in the CMS library for only heaven knows how many years.

This is one of my favorites — Vans: The Personality Vehicles by Paul R. Dexler. Copyright 1977.

My principal loves a good van, so he got a kick out of this one. In this gem, you not only get to see loads of custom paint jobs and their snazzy bubble windows, but also the wide range of interior decorating options. See pages below:

There were loads of old vehicle books, including quite a few about mopeds. But the next one I want you to see is New Automobiles of the Future by Irwin Stambler. Copyright 1978.

This books made some jaw dropping predictions about how cars were going to transform over the next few decades. Personally, I’m more than a little upset that the sliding car door trend never came to fruition. Hmm…I guess vans get all the fun past AND present.

Imagine one of my precious darlings doing a research project on computers. Let’s say their teacher required them to use a print resource (the horror!!) and they came across this book, Micro-Computers. Imagine their confusion when they KNOW that micro means small, yet they see images such as the ones below. They’ve got a computer in their pocket, for crying out loud! Then they go to reference this book in their bibliography and see it’s Copyrighted 1981. Hm.

I just like this one for the subtitle, “Telecommunications in Your High-Tech World.” The only thing high-tech about this book is the hot pants the chick is wearing on the page below:

I saved my favorites for last. In her day, Harriette S. Abels knew a lot about “Our Future World.” So much so, that she decided to write a few books about it. Check out the cover of Future Food. Our diets should (according to Ms. Abels) now be seafood based, with very little red meat. This is because we are supposed to be harvesting the oceans (I think that the cover image is an ocean harvester machine, in fact). AND some of us should be lucky enough to have a pool in our backyard where we breed and feed our dinner. Sadly, none of my friends have a crop of fish in their backyard.

Harriette also speculated about Future Space. The first image below is our space colony, where living in space is just a normal part of everyday life. I’m pretty devastated that I don’t have a space scooter. It looks like a safe way to get from my home on the living colony to my job at the factory colony.

Obviously, these books will no longer be part of my circulating collection. I think I will probably keep my favorites just for giggles. But it really makes you think about what will be said about us several decades down the road, doesn’t it?


A special thanks to Kathy Kaldenberg who shared the Awful Library Books site with me, which inspired this post!

9 thoughts on “Awful Library Books CMS Style

  1. I love this post! When you find winners like those, it’s easy to weed!
    I find if I am pulling a book off the shelf to inventory, it helps in the decision process!
    Have fun!
    Julie Hembree

  2. These are great! I could kick myself for not checking out the one on vans–the personality vehicles! I’m sure I would have gotten a good laugh out of it. I remember some of those from back in the day–we thought they were soooo cool!

  3. Wow! I remember when the “Good Time Van” first rolled off of the assembly line. It was the Ford Astro Van and had shag carpet covering every inch of the interior. Those were the days!!!!

  4. I love the blog. Do the students have access to it?
    I bet they would get a laugh out of it also (especially the cordless phone pic). That’s too funny.

  5. hi
    I think you are underestimating Harriette Abels- she knew more than she was supposed to know and I dont know her source and she seems to be a mystery. She was already talking about thw NWO and saying how “necessary” it was (?). I mean world government. She also knew about the large football field size “plane” which was going to take pictures of everyone from high up in the sky- which the army just announced last week. Harriette had inside info and I have tried to order her books but some are going for over 300 dollars. You need to keep those books. From them you can see what the government was planning already 32 years ago. I can find no info on her or her life. Very strange. Who did she know- she didnt think it all up- someone was feeding her information. Susan

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