Awful Library Books


In April, librarians Mary Kelly and Holly Hibner started a blog called Awful Library Books, which highlights outdated books on library shelves in Michigan. They’ve found some truly obsolete gems such as “Good Housekeeping’s Guide For Young Homemakers” and “The New York Times Guide to the Return of Halley’s Comet.” The most hilarious has to be “Dee Snider’s Teenage Survival Guide,” in which the lead singer of Twisted Sister dispenses advice on “how to be a legend in your own lunchtime.” There is no way teenagers in 2009 even know who Dee Snider is, much less want his advice.

They feature the worst offenders on their blog to make the point that librarians need to weed obsolete books out of their collections. Many of the books they’ve found are just silly, but a 1987 reference book titled “AIDS” is potentially harmful. Outdated health information has no place on library shelves. The authors say that specific libraries aren’t named to “protect the guilty,” but hopefully their blog will shame some libraries into doing a better job.

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