Fuse #8

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fat Insufferable Cats

So I'm cruising the Children's Picturebook Price Guide for fun, and I come across this piece regarding the The "Top 1000" titles most widely held by Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) member libraries.

The site is poorly laid out, tricking you into believing that Tomie dePaolo's Mother Goose is number three when, in fact, Mother Goose in general is third. Fortunately, the aforementioned Children's Picturebook Price Guide has rounded up all the 172 children's titles for you. So see if you can spot what's wrong with the kidlit holdings. Here are the first numbers:

#3: Mother Goose
#7: Huckleberry Finn
#8: Lord of the Rings (trilogy)
#10: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
#14: Night Before Christmas
#15: Garfield
#16: Tom Sawyer

*screeeeeeeeetch* Back up, back up, back up.
Let me get this straight. GARFIELD is number 15 on the list of books that are in THE MOST libraries worldwide? GARFIELD? Are you pulling my leg?

Oh, it gets better. Garfield beat Aesop's Fables, Arabian Nights, and A Christmas Carol. He beat Treasure Island, Grimm Fairy Tales, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He beat, The Hobbit, Little Women, and (and here it gets insulting) The Diary of Anne Frank.

Jim Davis, I am not pleased. Even Peanuts had the good grace not to appear until #69 with Calvin and Hobbes bringing up the rear at #77 alongside Doonesbury (#88).

In any case, for a good time, scroll down to the later titles and see what comes up. I could read this thing all day.

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At 7:17 AM , Blogger rams said...

Well, one thing that's wrong is that they're not listing one title but "Garfield." There are seven kabillion Garfield books -- everything else aside, that ain't no way to run a rating.

Then, of course, The Lord of the Rings is not a children's book, Huckleberry Finn even less so. (Which is why they've never filmed it well.) Feud-massacres, lynch-mobs, the DTs and hiding the money with the corpse do not a kid book make. But if the protagonist is under twenty that's how they get categorized. Sigh.

At 9:09 AM , Blogger Jennifer Schultz said...

I know many libraries buy multiple copies of the Garfield books. The books are paperback and are heavily circulated, so they wear out. They may buy some copies for the children's section and some for the YA/teen area. I know we have preteens/teens who check out the Garfield books.

Does OCLC list books that are listed as damaged, missing, lost, on search, lost and paid, etc?

(More reasons why Garfields are bought in multiple copies.)

The other books are in hardcover and probably don't have the circulation numbers as do the Garfield books.

At 12:37 PM , Blogger Camille said...

As a school librarian, I have noticed, to my utter amazement, that kids who say they cannot recall their multiplication tables or remember their vocabulary definitions can and will recite entire Garfield books to you, from memory, on demand. Sometimes it is a group performance. One kid will be Garfield and another the voice of Jon.

Garfield, like Capt. Underpants has done more for childhood literacy than any study will ever detect.

At 1:46 PM , Blogger Tim said...

And it is hard to describe the pride and warmth of heart this father feels when his son loudly declares "and that's a sign that the tank is full" after burping in front of the in-laws or pretty much anyone for that matter! Thanks, Mr. Davis! Thanks a lot! Nothing like hearing inspirational literary qoutes from the mouths of babes. *sigh*

At 3:04 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

I just feel sorry for whichever kid ends up as the part of Jon. Talk about a small part. I bet it's always the same kid time and time again too.

What I'm trying to say is that I probably would've ended up as Jon. I was always Bert to my friends' Ernies.

At 4:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this list supposed to include titles for teens? When I think of children's lit., I think of books for ages 0-12. I would think some of these classics classify for young adults. I couldn't believe Garfield either on this list!!

At 4:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I looked at other titles, one of them was Joy of Cooking. Definitely not children's material. Maybe there is some sort of mistake or something?

At 12:24 AM , Blogger stan said...

The Joy of Cooking is on the OCLC Top 1000 list. The Top 1000 list is not a children's books list, but is composed of the top 1000 books held by libraries around the world. Within this Top 1000, there are 178 children's books - see link at the top of the Fuse#8 post to see the children's books.

In addition, there are 24 Newbery Medal books within the Top 1000 books held by libraries around the world: http://1stedition.net/blog/2007/03/newbery_medal_oclc_top_1000.html.

At 10:33 AM , Anonymous Shop said...

Very interesting!


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