Collection management—the technical term for weeding out obsolete books—is an important part of librarians’ work. Sounds like drudgery, right? Well, two public librarians in Michigan have put the fun in collection management with their website Awful Library Books. Whether you are a bibliophile or not, you have to visit this site, if only for a good laugh.
Librarians Holly and Mary feature the worst of the worst from their own library collections and those around the country. What makes their site so entertaining is not only the titles but Holly’s and Mary’s deadpan commentary on what justifies a book’s weed out. Here are some books you’ll find on their site (comments are mine):
• Macrame Accessories (Lots of groovy photos, including vests for dudes.)
• How NOT to Kill Your Husband (Apparently men are too busy and clueless to take care of themselves.)
• Brainwashing Is a Cinch! (Just give me 10 minutes with the president!)
• Make Your Own Sex Toys (This book is available from Amazon in case you’re interested.)
• Cat Astrology (New pick-up line: What’s your cat’s sign?)
Inspired by Mary’s and Holly’s tough-love approach, I made the decision to finally discard my 1941 edition of 2002 Household Helps. Below I share a couple gems or “helps” from this book as part of my farewell ritual.
• SHOPPING TIP—Don’t go on a long shopping trip without first making out a list of things to be purchased, if you would conserve your energy. Don’t shop after you’ve an aching head and jumpy nerves. You will not get good results.
• LET BOYS PRESS THEIR OWN PANTS—Letting boys press their own suits and sew on their own buttons is an item in training them for self-reliant manhood.
The latter tip evokes a Banale moment: although they didn’t wear suits, the boys here did their own laundry starting in high school. Amen.