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Gail K Dickinson wrote:

>Lester Asheim said it best.  Selectors look for what is good about a book.
>Censors look for what is bad about a book.

If one only looks at the good, and never the bad, one will soon be 
unemployed and unemployable because of a reputation for bad judgment. If 
one looks only at the bad, and never the good, one will never buy 
anything. Purchasing books for any library is a balancing act - only so 
much money, only so much space, and so many books to choose from. We 
need to look at both the good and the bad for every book. What one 
person may consider good another may consider bad.

This whole discussion started because one book has one word on the first 
page, and we've spent two weeks discussing whether or not the book ought 
to be included. Each one of us will make that decision based on our own 
situations. Just because a book has won an award doesn't automatically 
mean that a particular library ought to purchase it, just as the lack of 
awards doesn't keep us from buying other books.

Perhaps an analogy will help. Many years ago my wife and I were looking 
for a house to buy. That community didn't have an MLS system, so we had 
to deal with several different agents. I always start looking at a house 
from the bottom up, so I insisted that we look at the basement first. 
That particular house has major problems with the foundation, and after 
less than two minutes I told the agent we could leave, because the house 
wasn't suitable. She couldn't understand why we wouldn't look at the 
rest of the wonderful old house. We did take a couple of additional 
minutes to look, just to see that yes, the upstairs was beautiful. Had 
we looked only at the good and ignored the crumbling foundation, we 
might have purchased a VERY expensive house. We deliberately looked for 
problems, not to reject the house, but to see what we would have to deal 
with if we bought the house. The house we eventually bought wasn't as 
nice in appearance, but the structure was sound, and we were able to 
renovate it to suit our wishes.

I've not purchased Lucky, nor am I planning to. The kids I serve are 
older than Lucky's target audience, so it would be a waste of money for 
me to buy it. If someone donated a copy, I would probably put it out, 
just in case one of the younger kids, reading on a lower level, might 
want it. My budget won't allow me to buy books that aren't really 
intended for my students.

David Lininger, kb0zke,
MS/HS librarian
Hickory County R-1 Schools
Urbana, MO 65767
tss003 at tnp dot more dot net

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