Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful

One empowered woman's struggle against the world
Monday August 19th 2019

Where Did The Librarian Go?

mom says

Yesterday I had to go to the library to return my books and check out some more.  I am an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction so the library is perfect for me.  I was in search of a particular book, one I have had some interest in for awhile.  Last time I was there it was checked out but it was due back so I crossed my fingers and went in search of it.

The library closes at 7:30pm and I got there about 6:45pm.  That is plenty of time to find the book and get it checked out, or so I thought.  The library has a computer available to look up any book you want.  Even if the book is not available at that particular library, the computer will tell you where it is available, will allow you to order it and have the book sent over to the library you are in.  It takes a few days to get the book but it is better than waiting for Johnny Reader to return a copy that is checked out.  This was my plan.  Find the book, check it out or if not available order it.  Simple really.

Card Catalogue

Card catalog in the Library of Congress, 1942 Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

It would have been simple had the computer been working.  The computer was down so I was unable to do the search for my book.  I went to the desk and asked the “librarian” where the card catalogue was at so I could look it up manually.  In case you don’t know or are too young, the card catalogue WAS a registry of all the materials that could be found in the library.  It WAS housed in a box with little drawers and inside the drawers were individual cards that held information about each book in the library.  If you also didn’t know, the card catalogue has been discontinued.  That is right no more card catalogue.  It is now all online through OPAC (online public access catalogue). Many card catalogues were removed to make space for more books but what is the point of having more books if you can’t find them?

Ok so what do I do now?  How do I find a particular book without having to go through every book in the library?  The Librarian!  Before I went to the librarian I thought I would do a cursory look.  The book I wanted was non-fiction so that definitely narrowed it down to only half the books in the library.  I did a cursory search on my own but time was a factor so I decided to go ahead and utilize the librarian.  I went back to the desk and asked the librarian where I could find the book I was looking for.  She had no idea.  She couldn’t even tell me the general area to look in.  She asked the other librarian and she didn’t know either.  I didn’t expect them to be able to tell me the exact shelve the book was on but I did think they would be able to narrow it down to a particular section.  Nope they couldn’t even do that.

me:        Where is the hobby section?
them:    Don’t know.
me:        Where is the computer section?
them:    Don’t know.
me:        Reference books?
them:    What type of reference?  (omg they might know something after all)
me:        Computer languages (excited I might get an answer)
them:    Oh I don’t know anything about computers at all.  Sorry but the computers are down so we really can’t tell you where anything is.  If they come back up we will happily do a search for you.
me:        Ok well it is a non-fiction book so where is that section? (I already knew this answer but I was curious if they did at this point).
them:    The last 12 rows.
me:        Thanks for your help I will go search the last 12 rows.
them:    Don’t forget we close in 15 minutes so you will want to hurry. {insert eye roll}

How do we have librarians who don’t know where the books are in their own library?  I left the library without my book and it was probably sitting right there on the shelve just no one knew where because the computers were down.

Librarians were a special breed when I was growing up.  You could walk into any library and ask the librarian and they could and would walk you over to the section you needed and actually stand there and help you look for the particular book you needed.  Librarians were a wealth of information and knowledge.  They didn’t know everything about every book in the library but they knew where the books were.  They didn’t have a computer back then either.  If you happened upon a rare subject that stumped the librarian, they would be at the card catalogue looking it up, not just for you but for themselves so they would know the answer for anyone else who asked.

Librarians didn’t just help you find the books you were in search of either.  A good librarian would help you find your book and then recommend other books.  I know the librarian couldn’t possibly know every book on the shelve but they seemed to know.  Once they saw the topic of the book you were in search of they always seem to know a wealth of information about it.  Cross related books, references books, fiction books all based on the topic of the book you just found AND where to find the new books they were recommending.  It wasn’t just a general knowledge of where the fiction and non-fiction sections were.

I love technology, I truly do, but technology can’t replace the librarian.  Technology can make searching for a book faster, when the computer is working, but that is all it can do.  A computer can even recommend books based on the topic or title but they are still limited.  A computer will never replace the librarian of my day, not even close.  It is a shame that the public library system is ok with replacing a real librarian with a computer and a person who knows how to type.  It is not the same.  Stop using computers to replace people and start using them to enhance the people you have in place.  Bring back my librarian and give her a computer don’t replace her with one, that is what should be done.

momwine glass

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