Monday, August 4, 2008

Library Tales

It looks like this is a once-a-month blog, at least for the summer.  Time, as mentioned in my previous post, flies by.

With the economy in a bit of a slump, the library has become even busier than it was before.  We had over 600 people come through our door last Friday, even with no program to draw them in.  And with more people coming in, there are more great stories to tell.  My favorite reference question so far is actually two consecutive title queries.

First patron:  Do you have Eat, Love, Pray?
Second patron, two minutes later:  Do you have I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell?

Snicker...yes to both, but it's Eat, Pray, Love.

The Hound and the Baskervilles, Breaking Down (aka Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer), and the Junie Johnson (B. Jones) series were some other items sought by readers.  One must be diplomatic while serving at the reference desk.

I had the glorious experience of hunting for a specific book for a patron.  He had read a book from our branch two years ago.  He didn't remember the title or the author, but it had airplanes on the cover and the spine was grey.  I received enough clues through our conversation to actually locate the item in the catalog.  All hail the Reference Interview!  Best of all, it was checked in and on the shelf.  (The spine was red.)

More things are checking out, of course, now that people are visiting us instead of Barnes and Noble.  As checked-out books are returned, and I see the condition they're in, I have to conclude that some patrons are forgetting that the book they're reading is a library book, not one they've purchased.  Underlining, dog-ears, stains of all kinds, broken spines...whomever coined the term "Gentle Reader" never helped process a library bookdrop.

Next time:  Cupcakes and Bookcrossing.  Honest.

Reference question:  Gentle Reader, coinage of.  Was it Asimov?  Or F.P.A. of New Yorker fame?  Aha!  Dorothy Parker?  I used to know this...stay tuned...

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