Library Notes

  • Crafts With Nikkie, a new children's program, will be held on Thursday, August 17th at 4:00 p.m. in the meeting room. Come and make a beaded necklace!
  • The library has a new AWE Literacy Station geared for children aged 2 to 8 years old. (See post.)
  • Book signing for author of "The Adventures of Stinkerpup" Isis Grayling on Saturday, June 3, from 2 - 4 p.m.
  • Summer Story Hour "Make A Better World" is coming! Beginning Wednesday, June 14th, this seven week program will continue every Wednesday from 10 - 11 a.m. through July 26th. (See post.)
  • The Arthur Johnson Memorial Library Board will hold their next meeting on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. in the meeting room at the library.
  • Are you interested in joining a new Writer's Group? Meetings held on Fridays, at 10:00 a.m. This is for any writer who wishes to meet with other writers. Beginners, experienced, published, unpublished, writers of fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, bloggers - all are welcome.
  • Preschool Story Hour is conducted every Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. We read books to the children and there is a project every week. It's never too soon to introduce your children to the library!
  • Schedule a meeting at the library. Call 445-9711 to get on the calendar in advance. The library stays open until 6:00 P.M., Monday - Saturday, except for Thursday, when it stays open until 9:00 P.M.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"It Has A Red Cover"

When a library patron is trying to find a book that they read once upon a time and they don't remember the author or title, the request usually goes something like this - "I read it when I was in college (or' when I was a child', or 'forty years ago'), and it was about someone who owned a Model T car (or 'a dog like the one on that commercial', or 'a man and a woman in Africa'), and it had a red cover."

If we shelved books by the color of their covers, it might actually be possible to go through the collection of books with red covers and see if their particular book was in the library. That is, if we didn't have much else to do, like shelving returned materials, answering the phone, processing new books ( some of which probably have red covers), taking care of the bills to be paid, making copies for patrons or sending faxes for patrons, checking all types of materials in and out, dealing with the budget cycle, doing the paperwork for grants, working on long term projects, mending books to extend their lives, withdrawing books that need final rites, straightening up the magazine room after a day's worth of reading has scrambled things, putting books back in order so they can actually be located on the shelf at some point in the future, helping patrons with the computers and aiding the public directly in all kinds of ways.

I used to think this was one of those 'patron' things, a description used by people who are afraid of the Dewey Decimal system and don't have very good memories. Then one day I heard myself say to another staff member, "We need to pull that book about World War II for someone. You know, the one about the black airmen. . .I think it has a red cover."

Huh. Obviously it wasn't just a patron thing, it was a people thing, maybe even a 'being human' thing. And clearly the color red is deeply embedded in our psyches, because when we finally found the book, it wasn't red. It was blue. I thought about how many times I had had a request for a book with a green cover or a yellow one, and there weren't many, if any. No, it was usually all about a red cover.

I wish I could report that we have always found the book with the red cover that the patron is looking for, but sadly, that is not true. Instead, we focus on the dog or the continent or even what the man and the woman did for a living. Sometimes we are successful, sometimes we aren't. And I have never yet filled one of those requests by looking through all the books with red covers.