Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What I learned whilst weeding the juvenile nonfiction

Not that I'm actually done, but what could happen between 973.99 and 999.99?

The quickest way to make an obscure topic popular is to weed it. Those how to care for your pet Chinchilla books from the 50s? Guess who just bought a Chinchilla. Dunebuggies in the Midwest? Guess who's moving to California. The only book on heraldry in the library, circa. 1920? Guess who's doing a historic heraldry project.

You can never have too many snake books. Or bear books. Or tiger books. Or animal books in general.

You can have too many Shakespeare books. And Colonial history books.

No matter how "cute" their pictures are, history books DO get outdated. Stories of the Western expansion written in the 1950s are not generally a good idea.

The most depressing - and irritating - books in the entire juvenile nonfiction collection, including the set on "feelings" are the Native American tribes set. All of them end with the assurance that this particular tribe is adapting well to modern culture and lifestyles while retaining their traditions and has great hope for a wonderful future. Optimism is all very well, and maybe people thought this was true in the 1980s. Maybe it is true for some specific tribes, it's not a subject I know much about. But all of them? Even children's books need some harsh reality once in a while. And we need a new Native American tribes set. Maybe in 2011.

1 comment:

Amber said...

State books. I'm having problems with the silly U.S. States. We have TONS of them, and I have been given the task of figuring out what needs to stay. The Head Librarian wants to stick to 2 or 3 series, (at least one very easy, at least one more advanced). We'll see how this goes!