I was a little surprised at this, as I had expected programming to be the top priority. But once I started looking at the collection, I realized why! The collection had been very neglected and mismanaged, and the deeper I got into it, the more I realized how bad it was. Many really old books on the shelf, lots of materials that had not circulated in the last 5 years or more, very little new material, almost no diversity, and a very obvious bias for one particular religious point of view.
What is really interesting is that it bears the stamps of a different library in another county, and the state Library Extension Division, which only existed as that entity at that address from 1957 to 1962. I believe this book was first acquired by the state division around 1957, then provided to the regional library listed which was at some point absorbed by the currently existing county library. Somehow, it must have been weeded from there and ended up being added to my library's collection in 1995, and being 42 years old at that point it must have already been in poor condition.
People, we have to do better than this! I get why someone might hold onto it for a personal collection, but this has no place in a public or school library where we supposedly want kids to check out books and read them. If you want books to circulate, you can't have your shelves filled with old, worn, faded, gross, ugly books. Not only is a child highly unlikely to pick a book of the shelf to check out if it looks like it came from great-grammy's basement, it brings the whole collection down, much as an old, run-down house brings down the property values of every other house in the neighborhood.
Sadly, though this book is the oldest I have found so far, I have found many that date back at least to the 1970s that still have original cover art from the 1950s or earlier, maybe not in quite as bad of a condition as this book, but close. And big surprise, they don't circulate well, even titles that I know are still fairly relevant and popular in other libraries. Needless to say, I've already ordered replacement copies for this book, and the whole series, along with several other classic series.