Saturday, June 28, 2008

These are the books in your library

Summer is never a fun time for public librarians. Sure, it's a productive time and it makes us look good--kids are reading, families are checking out materials and bringing their kids to programs--but man is it hard on the nerves. Yesterday afternoon, after witnessing a kid wapping his brother on the head with one of the summer reading program prizes, I busted out a librarian voice so stern I didn't even know I had it in me. Summer really does bring out the best in each and every one of us.

It doesn't help that our library has another big huge project that needs to be completed by the end of the summer. Basically, we have a bunch of books that have bad cataloging records that won't be compatible with our new library system, which will be arriving in September. Ultimately, this is a good thing; it's basically a big huge, easy as pie weeding project. It's just horrible timing. My little desk area in the children's room is covered in SRP sign up clipboards, SRP prizes, storytime sign up clipboards, storytime books and crafts and lots and lots of old books. A library volunteer pulled all of the books with old records and stacked them around my desk. I basically have a fort, built out of books, which probably used to be a dream of mine when I was younger. Which is all fine and good until one of the stacks topples and you can't get to your file cabinet and a kid knocks over another stack while picking up his Pizza Hut personal pan pizza coupon.

The only thing keeping me sane is the gems I'm finding in these stacks--I'm finding ridiculously outdated books, politically incorrect books and books that were old when I was a little kid. Examples:

"Festivals of West Germany." A perfect source for every child's nonfiction needs!

"The Truth About Old Wives Tales." Old Wives Tales they chose to tackle: "Hair of the Dog, the Ultimate Hangover Remedy," "Black Coffee Sobers You Up," "Beer Before Whiskey, Pretty Risky; Whiskey Before Beer, Never Fear," and my personal favorite "You Can't Get Pregnant If You Have Sex Standing Up." All of these helpful lessons could be found until recently in the juvenile section of the library. (by the way, if you were wondering, their verdict is not true, not true, maybe and not true.)

"World War II and the Modern Age" from the Universal History of the World series, dated 1966. Thus, the "Modern Age" involves putting the word astronaut in quotations (you know! those new fangled people who fly in space!), and featuring pictures of computers that make this look high tech. They also smell as modern as their content.


At 12:31 PM, Blogger LibrariAnon said...

Those are awesome! I hope they're going to a book sale :)

One of my favorites here is a Russian book ca. 1960 about the Future. The commies apparantly had the same desires for the Future as us, namely personal hovercrafts, pills that would take the place of whole meals, and world domination. It's a small world after allllll!

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Librarian Girl said...

Summer Reading is SO FRIGGING TIRING.

And wow! That weeding sounds hilarious. The most interesting weeding story I have lately is the fact that I found a Juvenile biography of Whoopi Goldberg from 1999 that has not ever checked out- not even once (that is kind of unheard of in my library) and I actually felt bad for Whoopi for a minute.


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