A website revealing the worst books on library shelves has become a surprise hit
Alison Flood in The Guardian, Wednesday 12 August 2009
Those featured on Awful Library Books have been languishing dusty on shelves for years. "It is a difficult thing to swap old books for new," says Hibner. "But in some subject areas – such as medical, legal and financial – having the most current information is crucial." Kelly agrees: "Librarians have a duty to make sure the best information is available." How To Get Out Of Debt, from 1976, for example, is on the shelves of a library in an area of Michigan that has been badly affected by the economic downturn. "They're giving them this? Wow. That's the librarian equivalent of malpractice," says Hibner.
Awful Library Books has been running since February and gets more than 30,000 hits a day in its quest to expose the dark underbelly of library collections, as well as a host of (anonymous) suggestions from fellow librarians. One recent addition was 1988's A Passion for Donkeys. "I understand that passion is the key to life, but anyone with a passion for donkeys probably needs help," said the unnamed librarian who submitted it.