Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tank Girl Starts Third Grade

One Florida third-grader got more than he bargained for when he checked out Tank Girl One from his school library.  According to television station WSVN, the graphic novel is filled with scantily clad women, drinking, smoking, and sexual situations that include women with women.  The young man only read the book six times before telling his mother what he had in his backpack (that's a joke I just could not resist).

It seems that the school ordered a book called Tank Talbot, a Guide to Girls.  The book they received from the publisher did have two of the same words in its title, but that's where the similarity ends.

WSVN-TV has video of how the station reported the story and a written piece for those who prefer reading their news over having someone do it for them.

What concerns me about this story is the number of incompetent people who had their hands on this book before it made it into the little hands of one lucky/unlucky third grade student.  Do you mean to tell me that no one noticed that this book had a different title, or a different cover...or that it was inappropriate for an elementary school library?  Really, Hebron Heights Elementary School?  Really?


  1. "Do you mean to tell me that no one noticed that this book had a different title, or a different cover...or that it was inappropriate for an elementary school library?"

    I can say from experience that this kind of thing happens when you have low-paid people looking over the books who are maybe not trained as well as they should be, or have more important things on their minds than a job it feels like they can do on autopilot. School libraries, unfortunately, have a tendency to be understaffed, or their staff has little to no training in running an actual library.

    That said, this is pretty pathetic. As some point when they were receiving the book, it should have been someone's job to check that all the books that were ordered were received. That could have caught the mistake. It should have been someone's job to flip through the book to make sure there were no quality issues (pages bound upside down, pages not cut properly, etc.). With a graphic novel in particular, that should definitely have caught the mistake. I would say that it should really, really have been caught during the cataloging stage (that tends to be the last point in my own library where these kinds of mistakes can and do get caught), but, being a school library, I'm betting they buy record packages from their vendor.

    The bottom line is, mistakes happen, but this one should have been an easy one to catch. Makes you wonder if they have any kind of quality control built into their workflow at that library...

  2. Your points, and explanation, are well-taken, Library Girl. I can see how it would happen under more normal conditions. It's just that this mistake should have been immediately obvious to anyone with eyes, half-a-brain, or the ability to stay awake at work for more than five minutes at a time. This one, IMO, had to almost be intentionally missed by someone who did not want the hassle of unraveling the mess with the book distributer.