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Old 01-21-2013, 07:26 AM   #1
Emanon
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Default Your Local Library and You

Hello all,

As many of you know, there are still plenty of people out there who have disinformation about hamster care or continue to pass along harmful, wrong ideas about diet, cage specifics, etc. Having kept hamsters for almost the entirety of 35 years, I've always been interested in the factual side of our little furred friends, often talking shop with pet shop owners, picking up new books at the pet/book store on them and chatting with other hamster enthusiasts.

Out of curiosity, I went to my local library to see what they had and looked up and checked out every book on hamsters they had. Unfortunately, the results were pretty horrible. Every book (five total) was horribly out of date, ranging from the 60s to the 80s. Most of these books were filled with outdated, harmful information ranging from terrible diet advice (citrus, lettuce, potatoes) to outright dangerous practices that could harm or kill our furred friends (using cotton, newspaper, metal wire wheels).

These books are probably where most dangerous, outdated ideas come from and responsible for killing hamsters of new owners. I returned to the library and donated several modern books of my own on the condition I keep the outdated ones and thankfully the librarian agreed to my deal when I explained my reasons.

If any of you have books of your own you no longer need, I'd encourage you to go to your local library and see if they are in need of more up to date knowledge. If you can get old, dangerous books out of circulation, great. Even if you don't have books to donate, you could perhaps explain your concerns to the library and perhaps convince them to update themselves. Even if that doesn't work, you could simply slip an index card warning any would-be readers this book is terribly out of date and dangerous with the web address of this forum and the wiki to help them out. (I do not advocate writing on or destroying library property of course!)

Some of these old books are pretty scary and certainly do much more harm than good.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:07 AM   #2
neily
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Default Re: Your Local Library and You

I have no books on hamsters, I do all my research online. But I agree these books are dangerous. I think it's because people were clueless back then, still today people get hamsters because they think it's only a small rodent that doesn't have as much needs as other animals, doesn't need a vet etc (my mum had this attitude until I changed it).

I like to remind people that although a hamster maybe small it still feels pain,bleeds, feels fear etc. It's still an animal and you as an owner are obliged to cater for all it needs and more.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Your Local Library and You

That was a wonderful move on your part Emanon and not something everyone would think about acting upon, so well done. Even a small change like this is better than no change. Maybe if we all took some time while out and about to share information with pet shops (showing them the best/safer alternatives) to what they might have on their shelves and give factual evidence why that change is needed, it would make such a difference to the hamsters and other small pets, who have no voice. Well done.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Your Local Library and You

Very brillant idea...! Wow !! Well done on you !

Annie xx
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:25 AM   #5
Holly's Mum
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Default Re: Your Local Library and You

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emanon View Post
Hello all,


If any of you have books of your own you no longer need, I'd encourage you to go to your local library and see if they are in need of more up to date knowledge. If you can get old, dangerous books out of circulation, great. Even if you don't have books to donate, you could perhaps explain your concerns to the library and perhaps convince them to update themselves. Even if that doesn't work, you could simply slip an index card warning any would-be readers this book is terribly out of date and dangerous with the web address of this forum and the wiki to help them out. (I do not advocate writing on or destroying library property of course!)
Maybe a post-it note would be better than an index card, less risk of it slipping out and being lost.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:33 AM   #6
Petite1
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Default Re: Your Local Library and You

Well done Emanon, what a great idea, im going to the library at the weekend so will have a look at the books my nearest library has and go from there with your tips,
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:53 PM   #7
Emanon
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Default Re: Your Local Library and You

Most modern books are quite good and reliable, but admittedly hamster books do not seem high ranking on the replace list, at least with my local library.

Hopefully some of yours are much better.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:42 PM   #8
Jennajayjay
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Default Re: Your Local Library and You

Hi People,

As a worker in a Library service I thought I would chime in with my knowledge here

There are definitely a LOT of outdated books in the library world, a few weeks ago I was flipping through a book about Hamsters that included such cage dimensions as 20x20x20 (cm!!!).. Thankfully the person ordering it was lucky enough to have me pick up the book for them (I put a note on their record telling them of a better book that was in stock in another library).

But I think that the best way of getting books with decent information into the library system, is to request it for yourself. Even if you don't particularly want to read it yourselves, if you request it chances are they will buy it in (Libraries have a small budget to centrally buy stock in for borrowers), which means it will be available and on shelf for others to search for. Going from experience, when people are searching for things for themselves, they look for the item with the most recent date. If you request something that is relatively new and looks appealing to them as an item of stock, they will probably buy it if they can, and you can always say to them 'please could you buy this copy in for me, as the ones you have on your system are too out of date'.

Hopefully they will, it's definitely worth a shot!

Hope I helped..!!!

Jen

(Mum to Dexter, Kratos, Loki and Quorra - RIP Thor)
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