Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Disney Free Zone

No, I don't have any Disney Princess books.
No, I don't have any Pokemon or any of the kiddy "Star Wars" books.
No, I don't have any "Dora the Explorer" or "Yo Gabba Gabba" or whatever the toddlers are into this year.
I don't even have any "Sesame Street" books--though I do admit to having some terrific Sesame music CDs and some of their videos.

Why?

Because I am a mean, mean old lady who never let such books into her own home.

WRONG!

The girls had "Blue's Clues" and Disney Princesses and whatever else we bought them at the supermarket, or at the yard sale or at the used book store. And that's my point.

We ALL have that crap in our houses. It's fun, ephemeral stuff.

However, few people own their own copy of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" or "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" or dozens of other books that matter. Books that are fun, but that go beyond the mass media bilge.

That's what my tiny little budget (and it has gotten even tinier in recent years) is spent on. That's what I will continue to spend it on.

If you want those books,  head for another library.Though even if they do buy them you'll be lucky if you find any on the shelf.

These books are poorly bound and wear out in a flash and those that do hold together tend to develop little feet and walk away from the library on their own.

And that goes double for their DVDs.................


7 comments:

Jennifer said...

I hate buying the hardcover books b/c the bindings are so bad and they just disintegrate. What I did - bought a bunch of $2 dish tubs from Walmart, went to Half-Price Books, donations, and other sales and bought a bunch of those 8x8 tv tie in books (Disney, Star Wars, Superheroes, Thomas the Tank Engine, Berenstain Bears...) Slapped a barcode and library sticker on them, no other processing. Voila, tub books! When they come apart, I staple them back together or slap on some packing tape. They look awful, don't last more than a year or two...but parents love them and they have really bumped up my circulation numbers. Of course, I have the budget to do this in addition to my regular picture book purchases - I buy about 25-30 new picture books per month, including replacements, but even bought new they're usually only about $2.50.

The Library Lady said...

The cost isn't the point. The point is that if I wanted to handle the mass media crap, I'd work in Barnes and Noble.

But I'm a librarian. I've spent 25 years reading kids books and selecting them for libraries. I know the good stuff and there's plenty of it. And that's my job--to give people the best of the best. Otherwise, what am I there for?

Library Girl said...

Forgive me, it all depends on your specific community of patrons. I've maintained collections of popular books in sections on lower shelves and in baskets making these marerials highly accessible. Thrift store books, including my little pony, strawberry shortcake, little critter, along with a lot of Disney and Seuss (a lot of teachers frown upon Seuss!!). I keep the Franklin, Berenstain Bears, Magic School Bus, Richard Scary books, among others in that section. A lot of parents can't afford the grocery store books and some kids get so excited that they actually WANT to someone to read to them. When the policy allowed the children to check out two books, my rule was 'you can check out one fun book . . . But you must check out one book that you will read . . read to someone at home !!'

The Library Lady said...

But they don't NEED the grocery store books. They don't NEED Dora, Disney, etc.
These books do nothing for them. And the kids whose parents can't afford the junk are the kids who need the good stuff far more than the privileged little ones with a complete set of Disney on their home shelves.

Library Girl said...

I hear you sister but still I beg to differ. I had that notion when my 23 year old son was in the 2nd grade . . My mother a teacher for 33 years (kinder, 6th grade math and third grade- long since retired) thought it best the boy select his own reading material. I was aghast when he came home with Captain Underpants and hid the book in the trunk of my car !! My mother bought him the Pokemon, insisting, the kids are actually reading !! She appreciated the whole concept having seen the kids play the card game.. This kid later loved the Pullman trilogy !! The creatures that perhaps represent alter egos and do battle remind me of the Pokemon creatures. I am now an advocate of giving kids what they want and guiding them to similar interests . . If you like this Barbie book you might like Angelina Ballerina (whom was in books long before she was on TV)

The Library Lady said...

Crap is crap is crap I don't think of Captain Underpants as crap though--crap to me is TV/movie based gunk.
Fine for kids to read it,not fine for libraries to waste limited $$ on. Especially since the theft rate on mass media books is incredible.When I do try to get patrons the stuff from other branches it's always missing.

Library Girl said...

Indeed. Your point is well taken.