Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday, Monday - and I am one step further down the road to old fogeydom

It is raining. Actually, it is lovely. When it has been dry for days on end (admittedly a rare occurrence around these parts)that first freshening of rain is a joy. You can feel everything perking up, and there is a delicious smell of the new.

Actually, generally followed by a positive volley of sneezes from me at the moment as there is also the odd allergen around.

OK, so that is the nice. Now the rant.

First, a bit of background for those who don't know. Many (many!) years ago, I was a librarian. And those are skills that are kind of fundamental and you don't forget in their entirety. So, when I visit a library, I am coming from somewhere ever so slightly different from most. Now, I mainly use the little travelling library van that stops at the top of the lane every other week. Jolly useful, and of course I am aware of the limitations. The latter being outweighed by the former. So, when I wanted a particular book a few weeks ago, I made the request on the van. (Insert twiddling fingers....)

Today, I asked about progress. Sheepish look from the assistant. The "relief" had not passed the message on. OK, slight miffedness, but I could be nice. Especially as she went on to the computer to arrange it then and there. Except - the computer was telling her there were no copies.

Now, this is a book about a very well known Britsih literary lion by a very well known and well-respected British serious literary biographer. It is fairly recent and in print. NOT HAVE IT??? In a borough this size??? Is it any wonder that I am ranting? (I did manage to retain sefficient self control to not actually scream abuse at the young assistant, who was very apologetic and ashamed.)

I shall now step sideways. The advice was to make the arrangements through the library in town. This is now a spiffy thing, the old and attractive building sutiably located in the centre of Hebden Bridge considerably tarted up at great expense and reckoned to be the bees knees.

It looks lovely.

If you have young eyes that can cope with the state of the design art fancy lighting units. And want to use a computer or watch a giant plasma tv screen or two (sic). If you want books, well, you might have to hunt a bit. The pretty new curvy shelves are only half full in the fiction area (once you have decided if you want crime, SF, Romance, a classic or(I kid you not) chick lit. Non-fiction is now known as "Information", and although Dewey is still used, there is no guidance on the shelves, and although I was assured that the shelves were laid out in order, it is no order recognisable to this woman.

There are a bazillion computers, which double as catalgues for the entire library service (I can see a point to that somewhat, I admit) but there is no dedicated card catalogue that would be quick to use for the branch.

So, that's it. I am officially old.

>>Rant off<< Sigh........

In much, much better news....

Friday at AH, really nice day, a little gentle natural dyeing with them, which has prompted me to do a proper project to form the basis of my talk at Woolfest and maybe even an article to send somewhere, who knows. I shall enjoy it, whatever. There is a pot with hibiscus flowers simmering on the hob even as I speak.

Saturday, chores, a pleasant coffee in town watching the world (and the most beeootiful yellow, green and scarlet mohican walk by!) and then a nice supper with DB&SIL.

Sunday, pottering, inside and out. The DSM sowed lots of seeds, and I reorganised the workroom a bit, to facilitate a plunge in to effectiveness this week (no sign of that on the horizon, yet, funny....)

Any minute now?


beadlizard said...

I am so totally there with you about the "modernization" of libraries! Ack.

Our local used bookstore is a gem, though. Between Silk and Cyanide hopped off the shelves into my hands yesterday when DD was leafing through some Dickens and cute little Japanese versions of Clancy's books. They even have sections for gothics and Regencies...

Hibiscus flowers as dyestuff? I have a beautiful deeeeeep red hibiscus covered in blossoms. What's the procedure?

Dorothy said...

Hi Carol, my first job was in the school library at lunchtimes, my second job was (age 16) Saturday a.m. in the public library... I knew my Dewey numbers by heart and love the system.

If it's any solace to you, I found the Lancashire Libraries catalogue online,;jsessionid=648E7D1EFC3DC10E50C51251DBC7166F.worker1?and if you go to the bottom of the advanced search page where it says "browse a list" one of the list options is classification, so you can search by Dewey number. You know the old "use it or loose it slogan"? Let's use Dewey!!