The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

28 September 2011

Heavenly stacks

Reader, I am in heaven.

My job takes me to libraries from one end of SOHOE to another, and let me tell you, there are some interesting interpretations of 'library' out there.  I've been to one that arranged the books from right to left on the shelves and right to left along the banks of shelves.  I've seen one that arranged the books on shelves the full length of the library wall before dropping down to the next row.  I know of one or two that specialize the groupings of books so finely that if you want a blue picture book you browse in this particular cubby, and if you are looking for a teal picture book they are kept in that cubby over there.

These little complaints of mine may leave you shrugging your shoulders and wondering to yourself, "Umm... Tess, what's the big deal?  Nobody notices these things but librarians, and they're just oddly anal about such things anyway."  Well, these things matter because they settle like a tick beneath the skin of us anal library folk. A library ought to run like a well-oiled machine my friend, and if it does, nobody will notice the work that goes into keeping it that way.

Today's assignment brought me to such a well-oiled machine, and it made me happy as soon as I walked through its door.  It was spacious with well-stocked - but not overly crowded - shelves. Every item was precisely where it logically belonged with easy to follow signage.  The procedures were clearly written and the staff and students were very well trained. There is a day book where everything is documented. Every work surface was clean and clear of clutter, drawers and cupboards were well organized, and - oh joy - there was a sink and kettle! And get this, dear reader: each book cover is wiped with a sani-wipe before it is reshelved.  Isn't that one of the ick factors about borrowing library books - other people's germs?  Not a problem here.

Even better than the happiness of having been in library heaven today, is being there again tomorrow.  My librarian's heart is going pitter-pat in a joyful rhythm.

No comments:

Post a Comment