More in the continuing series of “You can take the librarian out of the library, but you can’t take the library out of a librarian.”
You see, for the first time in almost ten years I am not working in a library. It’s totally weird.
So today I went to my nearest public library and was a little overwhelmed. First, it was packed. Maybe that’s because it’s tiny and not open very often. On the upside, they had usefully themed sections (“careers” “mind and body”) like bookstores. On the downside, the building was gross, old, dark and confusing. The librarians were super nice and young though. Yay librarians! I did overhear a funny reference interview in which the librarian wanted to show a woman “where her book would be if it were there, which it was not.” As a librarian, I understand she was trying to show her a generally themed area, however the patron looked at her like “why the hell would I want to see the shelf around the book I need without the book I need?” There was a lot of squealing and yelling. And I came out with nothing.
Let me repeat, I did not check anything out.
This is probably a first. I am physically incapable of not checking out books even when I know I have no time to read them. I couldn’t get on a computer to find anything, and there were few audiobooks (alphabetized by author, all biography, non-fiction, and fiction all interfiled), and I couldn’t even distinguish how most of the books were organized. Some were in the bookstore type sections, some in dewey. Clearly this library is very popular but doesn’t have a ton of cash. That sucks.
The languages covered were PHENOMENAL. Here’s what a small section of the foreign cds were like:
I could find more foreign DVDs than English ones. And that’s when I had to leave. Not because I am a horrible racist who hates foreign films (actually I was excited with the Bollywood selection) but because the DVDs were in NO ORDER. I thought this, and then could not believe it was true. I kept searching for an order, and then an employee training a volunteer came by and explicitly said “Put the DVDs in wherever–there’s no order.”
That means, in addition to no alphabetical order, childrens’, adult, and all foreign language films (well over 10 languages) are interfiled RANDOMLY. Holy god. I honestly had to leave. I know this is stupid and persnickety. I think the “system” works for this library as they probably have dvds coming in and out so frequently no one cares about the order. But I was actually personally upset. I considered asking if I could volunteer to order the dvds, but then the people who worked there would have to maintain it, and they probably THOUGHT of alphabetizing and had tried it and it didn’t work. It was so sad. I now know how Kurt feels when his iTunes metadata is wrong.
I likee classification.