I think anyone who spends a decent amount of time around books- be it your career or a hobby- has come across a bizarre title here and there. As CLP’s government documents librarian, I sometimes wonder if I don’t see more unusal titles than most, though. Here are a few of my favorites:
Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation: Are We Doing Enough?: If you have to ask, you’re not doing it right.
A Winning Combination: Wild Horses and Prison Inmates: If that’s not a winning combo, I don’t know what is.
Let’s Use TV!: In which the U.S. Department of Education gets really excited about television!
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Shipping High-Level Nuclear Waste: All you ever wanted to know about your nuclear shipping needs.
This is Ann…She Drinks Blood!: If the title alone didn’t sell you, the fact that Dr. Seuss did the illustrations just might.
Hawaiian Duck’s Future Threatened by Feral Mallards: If zombies weren’t enough to worry about, now we have to think about feral ducks too!
Of course, once you take a look at the documents themselves, you discover information on malaria prevention, how to prevent elder abuse, or tips for using television as a classroom tool. In fact, it’s usually titles like A Study of Lunar Research Flights, Volume I that hide the truly bizarre stories, like this study that Carl Sagan contributed to which examined the feasibility of blowing up the moon in the 1950s. Thank goodness that one was reconsidered.
Most of the titles in CLP’s government documents collection tend toward the more mundane; our collection is a good place to look if you need Census information, Congressional hearings, or background on various countries from the CIA’s World Factbook. Digging through SuDoc numbers and documents that are, these days, often born digital can be daunting so don’t hesitate to stop at the reference desk to ask a librarian for help!