Funny Finds Found When Weeding: EPL Hidden Treasures

March 1, 2016

Look, I gotta level with you here.  The Evanston Public Library collection?  It’s massive, man.  We have 485,000 print items alone, which is kind of unusual for a city this size.  We’re proud of our collection as well.  Have you ever looked, I mean really looked, at our art books?  How about our music scores?  For as little funding as the library receives (ahem ahem) we really do have a great collection of material here.

But . . . we are not The Library of Congress.  Eventually you have to get rid of the stuff that folks just don’t want to read to make room for the stuff that they do.  This is called weeding.  Now don’t worry!  We always make every effort in the world to make sure that these books find a good safe home of their own post-library.  I personally go through and weed, as we call it, the titles we no longer need.

That said, I sometimes find some really awesome stuff that I just can’t let go.  So here they are, folks.  Books that look incredibly interesting and that need some love, otherwise they gots to go.  Think of this as the book equivalent of those animal shelter ads you often see.  Give this book a home (albeit briefly – then we want it back).

Real Photo Postcards : Unbelievable Images From the Collection of Harvey Tulcensky


Lest you labor under the misapprehension that taking goofy and silly photos is an aspect of 21st century Instagram culture, behold!  What we have here are photo postcards that were tweaked and bandied about by folks working in an era where film was still a new novelty (see the lady in the tie on the cover?).  I don’t just love the images in this book.  I love what this book is saying about human nature in general.

Hitchcock Poster Art : From the Mark H. Wolff Collection


What kind of heartless monster would I be if I were to get rid of this?  We’re not just talking the standard Vertigo poster that hung on your dorm room wall here.  We’re talking some amazing and beautiful worldwide posters almost never before seen.

An Irreverent Curiosity : In Search of the Church’s Strangest Relic in Italy’s Oddest Town


So I could tell you what this “strangest relic” is that apparently exists out there, but let’s just say it’s one that you’ve undoubtedly never considered as an option before.  And when that relic gets stolen, what you end up with is “perhaps the oddest story in Christian lore.”  Sold on it yet?

The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss


I’m a children’s librarian by training so this is the kind of thing I notice.  The book is described this way. It looks deep within Seuss and finds, “the hope for redemption, as seen in the Grinch; the need for commitment, as seen in the journey ‘on beyond Zebra’; the necessity of acting on the behalf of others, as seen in Horton and the Whos.”  By the way, one record I read of this book said that the subtitle was Snitches, Sneeches, and Other “Creachas”.  Which, as it happens, may now be my favorite subtitle.

Ancient Iranian Ceramics From the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

Ancient Ceramics

Who’s the cutest little old ancient Iranian ceramic out there?  That’s right, you are!  You are!  It gets even better when you read that someone, in some unknown century, painted a face on the belly of this vase.  Chalk this one up to Too Adorable to Weed.


Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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