Friday, September 11, 2009

End of the week chatter

It's Friday, and I'm very glad. I spent all of yesterday evening savoring my time with Henry. This semester I'm working the Wednesday evening reference shift (only every other week, but still) and I didn't get to see him before he went to bed Wednesday night. I loved every minute of yesterday night, even when we spent 20 full minutes on the potty - him working on production and me reading Franklin and the Thunderstorm - in a bathroom that quickly needed some serious air freshener. We looked at all of his library books together and generally snuggled. He's also doing markedly better with his new big boy bed. He's been staying in it nearly all night, only coming out in the early morning to camp outside our door until Mike and I awaken. Here he is, on his new big boy bed quilt:

My precious little angel.

In other news, my frequent spells at the public library have led to my uncovering of a nefarious cataloging issue that I simply had to report. Yes, I did use the word 'nefarious' to refer to an issue regarding *book cataloging*; I know, only on this blog, right? Anyway, around here, we have a large county library system that encompasses dozens of local branches. I first noticed the problem a few months ago when I borrowed a slew of Amish fiction. On my receipt, I noted that one of the books was listed simply as "generic paperback." Well, that's not very helpful. I then noticed that in the online catalog, that book was not listed as being at the branch location that I borrowed it from. Super Librarian immediately leapt into action.

When I returned the book, I made it a special point to go up to the desk and report that the book was not cataloged as being in this branch's collection, so people can't find it at that library unless they happen upon it while browsing. This is a major access problem, as you can see :) Amish fiction readers being denied the information that the next book in the series they're reading is right at their local branch, the horror!

Well, the person behind the counter for my big announcement appeared to be a college student or otherwise part-time library volunteer, and didn't seem too impressed with my discovery. He mentioned that the 'generic' indication meant that the book was a donation, and tossed it into the return bin. Well, that's fine, but why shouldn't donated books be properly cataloged? You want people to read them, right? They have to be able to find them.

Well, in my furious quilt fiction gathering, I found the same problem several more times at the branch near work. This is obviously a large-scale problem with donations to the local branches. The books never get entered into the larger catalog record in the location field. So, a person may give up on a book, not seeing it listed as being at a local branch, and not wanting to travel to a farther location nor pay the transfer fee, when it's right at a stack near them. I'm likely the only person to (1) notice this and (2) be bothered by it, so I suppose I should leave it there.

Anyway, I'm really making progress with my new baby blanket project:

I finally have the puff stitch rows down pat. It needs to be done by late October. I also just found out that a friend of mine is expecting a new baby in May. Another baby project, yay!


  1. When I volunteered there, I noticed the same problem. I brought it to someone's attention and was told that it was because items donated do not leave that individual library. To be properly cataloged the items would have to be shipped downtown, cataloged, and then shipped back. They can't catalog them from the branches, only downtown. :( It's also a major issue with DVDs. You'll find much more by browsing than you will ever notice by virtual browsing.

  2. well, this is a travesty :) I mean it, it makes no sense. How useful are donations if they aren't added to the catalog record?


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